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Some of the world’s most beautiful animals are also some of its most endangered. Some species are actively endangered because of their beauty—hunted for their coats, tusks or other body parts—while others have historically been hunted for their meat. Increasingly commonly however, mankind’s effect on the world’s animals is indirect. Our reach for resources, and land to cultivate or build on, has resulted in the extinction of almost 15 species since 2000.
But it’s not all doom and gloom. Even animals classified as critically endangered can make it back from the brink, if we act in enough time. The bald eagle and American alligator were once on the edge of extinction, and both now have healthy populations. Let’s hope we’ll be saying the same about the beautiful animals in this playlist in a couple of decades.
With as few as 30 left, the amur leopard is closer to extinction than perhaps any animal on Earth, according to World Wildlife Fund. Learn about more of the amazing species with dwindling populations.