Still Alive

Florida Panther

Puma Concolor Coryi

Status: Critically Endangered

 

One of 30 cougar subspecies, the Florida panther is tawny brown on the back and pale gray underneath, with white flecks on the head, neck and shoulder. Solitary, territorial, often travel at night. Adults are rarely seen together, except for during the breeding season. Florida panthers are predatory carnivores, with white-tailed deer being the most important prey species.

 

Distribution: found in the Americas. It has a vast range, from Yukon Territory in Canada to the southern Andes of South America.

 

POPULATION: fewer than 70 breeding individuals.

 

THREATS: Habitat loss because of human development and population growth, collision with vehicles, parasites, feline distemper, feline calicivirus (an upper respiratory infection), and other diseases.

European Bison

Bison Bonasus.

Status: Endangered

 

Also known as Wisent. The European bison, or 'wisent', is similar in appearance to its North American relative: Bison bison. Although smaller in size, they have the characteristic thickset body shape with a short neck and a pronounced shoulder hump. There is a longer mane of hair underneath the neck and also on the forehead. The dense coat is dark to golden brown in colour, but is less shaggy than that of the American bison. Both sexes bear short horns that project outwards and then curve up.

Bison feed predominantly on grasses although they will also browse on shoots and leaves; in summer months, an adult male can consume 32kg of food in a day. Bison need to drink every day and in winter can be seen breaking ice with their heavy hooves. Despite their usual slow movements, bison are surprisingly agile and can clear 3 metre wide streams from a standing start.

 

Distribution: mixed deciduous forests in Bialowiesza (Poland) and Western Caucasus.

 

THREATS: With the advance of agriculture, vast tracts of the European bison's habitat were lost and their range became massively restricted. These animals were also persecuted by hunting and in 1927 the species finally became Extinct in the Wild. Reintroductions of the bison to some of its former range have proved extremely successful and, due to the natural low mortality of the species, it has even been necessary to cull some populations in order to manage them effectively.

 

POPULATION: about 3500.

Saiga Antelope

Saiga tatarica

Status: Critically Endangered

 

Saiga antelope have an extremely distinctive appearance with an enlarged nose that hangs down over the mouth. Despite their common name these ungulates are thought to be intermediates between antelope and sheep. The coat is sparse and cinnamon-buff in the summer but becomes white and around 70% thicker in winter. The underbelly is light in colour throughout the year, and there is a small mane on the underside of the neck. Mature males have almost vertical horns; these are semi translucent and are ringed in the bottom sections.

Saiga are nomadic animals and undertake seasonal migrations from summer pastures in steppe grassland to winter pastures in desert areas. Large groups of saiga migrate southwards to the winter grounds, covering up to 72 miles in a day. During the rut, males' noses swell up and the hair tufts below the eyes are covered in a sticky secretion. Males do not feed much during the rutting season, when they take part in violent fights that often end in death. The male mortality rate can reach 90% during this time, due to exhaustion. Saiga graze on a number of different grasses, herbs and shrubs. The unusual swollen nose is thought to filter out airborne dust during the dry summer migrations and to enable cold winter air to be warmed before it reaches the lungs.

All the saiga populations have suffered from habitat degradation, poaching and disturbance. Droughts or severe winters, diseases and predation pressure from wolves can also act as threats of saiga populations, although these are unlikely to be major causes of the decline. Another main cause of the saiga's decline is the overgrazing of its pastures, general habitat degradation and construction of roads and canals.

Yunnan Snub-nosed Monkey

Rhinopithecus bieti (Pygathrix bieti, P. roxellana bieti)

Status: Endangered

 

The Yunnan snub-nosed monkey is the most endangered of China's three snub-nosed monkey species. The long, shaggy coat is mainly black on the back, arms and legs and white on the front. White hair is also present on the flanks and this is particularly long on the adult males. The lips are a deep pink, whilst the face is paler and there are yellowish-grey hairs on the shoulders. The adult male of the group is considerably larger in size than other members, usually more than one and a half times. These monkeys get their common name for their unusual noses; the nasal bones are absent and the nostrils are upturned. Young are born white but become grey over several months. The primary food of the Yunnan snub-nosed monkey appears to be lichens growing on tree bark. Unlike other arboreal primates, the Yunnan snub-nosed monkey forms groups that can number more than 200.

 

Distribution: in the Yunling Mountains in southwestern China.  Recent surveys suggest that there are 13 isolated sub-populations located in five counties in Yunnan Province and Tibet Autonomous Region.

 

THREATS: The Yunnan snub-nosed monkey has suffered from loss of habitat and intensive hunting and trapping. It is also caught in snares set for other animals, such as musk deer. Its population is fragmented, and geographic features make it improbable that there is exchange of individuals between the 13 sub-populations.

 

POPULATION: about 1500 in the wild.

Cotton-top Tamarin

Saguinus Oedipus (S. o. oedipus)

Status: Endangered

 

The cotton-top tamarin is a small monkey about the size of a squirrel.  It weighs less than 0.5 kg (1 lb).  The species’ most distinguishing characteristics are the crest and mane on its head, both white. Its face is black, and its temples and the sides of its head are covered with short silvery hairs. Its back is primarily black or brown, while the underparts of the body, arms, and legs are predominantly white. Fruits and insects comprise the majority of the cotton-top tamarin's diet. It is arboreal and diurnal, arising an hour after dawn and retiring well before dark.  Foraging generally takes place in mid-lower strata of the forest. Sleeping sites are in the upper canopy, where a cotton-top tamarin sleeps on a wide branch or forking branches or amid tufts of leafy vegetation.

Distribution:  endemic to Colombia.

 

THREATS: From 1960 - 1975, as many as 30,000 - 40,000 cotton-top tamarins were exported to the USA, in addition to those exported to other countries. This export trade was primarily for biomedical research, mainly because the cotton-top tamarin’s tendency to develop colon cancer made it an ideal subject for in-depth studies. All exportation from Colombia has been outlawed since 1974, but some illegal exportation continues. Currently, deforestation for agriculture, fuel, and housing is the greatest threat to the survival of the cotton-top tamarin. Collection for the local pet trade in Colombia and continuing illegal exportation are also of concern.

 

POPULATION: Less than 2500.

Serval

Leptailurus Serval

Status: The northern subspecies is listed as endangered while all others are listed as threatened.

 

Serval have the largest ears and longest legs, relative to their body size, in the cat family. The ears are rounded with white stripes on the back and they rest on a small, elongate head. The pelage is reddish-brown with dark spots that may merge into stripes along the back. Servals are solitary animals that primarily communicate through urine spraying and rubbing saliva on objects. They also communicate using vocalizations such as shrill cries, growls and purring. Servalsare primarily crepuscular. Their peak activity times are between ten and eleven at  night and four and five in the morning. Servals are carnivorous, their diet consists primarily of hares, mole rats, ground squirrels, vlei rats, quails, gueleas, frogs, and flamingos. They catch their prey by leaping and landing on their victims with both front paws. They also have the ability to reach into deep holes or enter the water to catch prey.

 

Distribution: sub-Saharan Africa, with small populations in south-west Africa, and a reported relict population in North Africa (no recent sightings confirmed). As many as fourteen serval subspecies exist. The northern subspecies is listed as endangered while all others are listed as threatened.

 

THREATS: Servals are hunted for their coat, as a result they have been exterminated from the areas of their range with higher human populations.

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