Endangered African Animals
Endangered African animals can be categorized as critically endangered, endangered or vulnerable. Critically endangered animals face an extremely high risk of extinction in the immediate future, while endangered animals face a high risk of extinction in the near future. Animals classed as vulnerable face a risk of extinction in the medium term.
Animals are at risk from factors such as climate change, loss of natural habitat and poaching.
Critically endangered animals in South Africa include the Black Rhino, the Riverine Rabbit and some species of Golden Mole.
Although found in South African Game Parks, the Black Rhino has disappeared from Central and Northern Africa, placing it on the critically endangered African animals list. Demand for rhino horns as handles for ceremonial daggers in the Middle East, and as an ingredient in traditional Chinese medicine, has fueled an unprecedented upsurge in illegal poaching, reducing the numbers of this great pre historic looking beast at an alarming rate.
The Riverine Rabbit is only found in parts of the arid Karoo region. Farmers are being encouraged to rehabilitate the river banks on their farms to restore the natural habitat of these creatures.
Of the 21 species of Golden Mole endemic to South Africa, 11 are on the brink of extinction due to sand mining, poor agricultural practices and predation by domestic cats and dogs.
Endangered African animals in South Africa include the African Wild Dog, the Ngoye Red Squirrel, the Samango Monkey and the Oribi and Tsessebe.
Threatened by human overpopulation, habitat loss and hunting, the African Wild Dog can be found in the Kruger Park, the Kgaligadi Trans Frontier National park as well as Madikwe and Pilansberg.
They are also found in Northern Botswana and Namibia. Requiring large tracts of land in which to hunt, and known for their vicious hunting methods, the wild dog has been killed by farmers for many years, resulting in a threatened natural population. Specialized breeding programs and farmer education are helping to keep this species alive.
The Oribi and Tsessebe antelope have recently had their status set to ‘endangered’. Their dwindling numbers have been attributed to loss of habitat.
The Samango Monkey, commonly known as the Blue Monkey and the Ngoye Red Squirrel are under threat due to the fragmentation of their forest habitat in coastal areas of Northern Kwa-Zulu Natal.
Animals classed as vulnerable include the Lion, Cheetah, Elephant, Cape Mountain Zebra, Hippopotamus, Great White Shark and African Penguin
Lion, Cheetah, Elephant and Hippo are found throughout the game parks of Southern Africa. However their presence outside of these parks is almost non existent.
The Mountain Zebra population dwindled to about 100 in the 1930’s but careful conservation has seen an increase in their numbers over the years. These Mountain Zebras can be seen in the Mountain Zebra National Park.
The African Penguin found only around the South African coastline, has decreased in numbers in recent years due to over-fishing of their food sources and predation by cats and dogs at their nesting grounds. However two mainland breeding colonies of these amusing birds can be found in Boulders in Cape Town and in the small coastal town of Betty’s Bay.
The Great White Shark has fallen prey to fisherman and deep sea dragnets and is now rated as one of the most vulnerable of all shark species. Shark Cage Diving in Cape Town and Gansbaai gives you an opportunity to see these impressive creatures in the wild.
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