The rainforests are an abode of more than half the number of exotic and rare species in the world. These lush and green forests have conditions that are tremendously favourable to the growth of flora and fauna in the region. However, due to various reasons like destruction of forests, climatic changes, increasing population, pollution, hunting, fishing, etc. this once rich habitat now has several species on the brink of extinction.
Perhaps, it is important to note that most of these species have been endangered due to loss in their habitat and forest cover, indicative of the fact that the rainforest themselves have been under threat of endangerment.
There are several conservation organizations working towards the breeding and preservation of these endangered animals.
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A few examples of such rare and exotic endangered species are:
Perhaps one of the most endangered species in the world, these gentle and shy animals were once found extensively in the rainforest. These Gorillas found in the eastern lowland are completely herbivorous. About 80% of their population has gone extinct which is a huge cause of concern. Some of the major causes for their endangerment is habitat encroachment by humans and poaching for the purpose of making talismans, trophies, bush meat, etc. It has also been found that diseases caused by the virus ‘Ebola’ have been a huge reason for their dwindling numbers.
These majestic animals are found in the Sundarbans Regions in India, Bangladesh and China. Extensively poached for their skin, hunting by humans is one of the leading causes for their endangered status. As their skin is extremely valuable, even the methods to hunt them are quite barbaric. Instead of shooting them, which could cause holes in their fur, their meat is poisoned which results in an agonizing and slow death. The governments of the countries that these tigers are native to have failed to implement effective measures to preserve this species.
These primates that live in dense tropical forests and are mainly found in Indonesia and Malaysia are eminent for having human-like features. Highly intelligent creatures with longhand and heavy bodies, they are critically endangered due to loss of habitat and the ongoing illegal exotic pet trade. Their population has declined by up to 80 % due to deforestation, poaching and hunting. It is estimated that less than 60,000 orangutans remain in their habitat. There have been continual conservation efforts to save the orangutan, that especially encompassing their programmes, the need to educate humans about the harmful consequences of domesticating primates.
This species is another example of an extremely vulnerable one, especially due to human greed and insatiability. Poached for their horns, the Javan and the Sumetran subspecies found in Asia are critically endangered. Recently, their subspecies was declared extinct in Vietnam. Due to undying conservation efforts, a rise in their population has been witnessed, especially with the one-horned rhinos in India, however, hunting activities still threaten their existence. It cannot be denied that a huge contributor to the decline in their number is also habitat loss due to human encroachment.