A-z - Animals

Different types and categories of endangered animals

Endangered Animal Categories, Definitions and Lists

AZ Animals follows the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) list of nine endangered species. they are:

Extinct (EX) — An extinct species no longer exists. After exhaustive research, scientists around the world agree that there is not a single living individual of this species on Earth. Interestingly, 99% of all species that have graced the planet have become extinct in the past 5 billion years. Read more and see a list of extinct species here.
Extinct in the Wild (EW) – Species that survive only in captivity, cultivation, or outside their native range are considered "extinct in the wild". For example, if only 10 individuals of a rare bird are left, and they all live in a zoo or a nature reserve, the IUCN classifies the species as extinct in the wild. Read more and see a list of extinct wild species here.
Critically Endangered (CR) — A critically endangered species is endangered or extinct in the wild, but has not yet met the criteria for either category. See the list of critically endangered species here.
Endangered (EN) — An endangered species is at high risk of becoming extinct or extinct in the wild. For an animal to be added to this category, it must meet certain criteria regarding population or habitat loss, which you can read about in our endangered species list.
Vulnerable (VU) – Vulnerable species meet at least one of the five Red List criteria. They are considered to be at high risk of man-made extinction if conservationists do not intervene. For the IUCN to add a taxon to the Vulnerable List, it must meet certain criteria regarding population or habitat decline. Read more about our vulnerable species list here.
Near Threatened (NT) — A species is considered Near Threatened if it does not meet the criteria of Critically Endangered, Endangered or Vulnerable, but scientists believe it will reach one of these levels in the near future. Check out our list of endangered species here.
Concern-free (LC) – Species that fall into the category Concern-free are not currently facing any population or habitat loss. See the list of species of least concern.
Data Deficient (DD) – Data deficient species lack sufficient information to be correctly classified into the above groups. See a list of species with insufficient data.
Not Evaluated (NE) – The species has not been evaluated for IUCN classification. See a list of unassessed species.

What is the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN)?

IUCN is an organization that monitors the state of conservation of the world's flora and fauna and other ecological indicators. Its mission is to promote the sustainable use of the earth's resources. Founded in 1948 in Fontainebleau, France as the Union for Conservation of Nature, IUCN is the oldest global environmental advocacy organization. Today, the umbrella organization, based in Gland, Switzerland, works with more than 1,000 small non-profit organizations, associations and governments representing 140 countries.

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How many species are there on earth?

The IUCN monitors the world's species, which begs the question: How many species are there on Earth today? In 2016, researchers announced their collective belief that there are now more than one trillion species on Earth. However, scientists have only observed and described a thousandth of them, or 7 to 10 million. The typical lifespan of a species is 10 million years. However, some persist for hundreds of millions of years. For example, jellyfish have lived on Earth for nearly 550 million years!

What is a taxon?

IUCN uses the term "taxon" a lot. what is that? A taxon is a unit composed of one or more populations of a species or organism.

What is the Red List?

The IUCN is probably best known for creating the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, which details the world's vulnerable and endangered species. Started in 1964, the list details endangered taxa of plants and animals, organized into several categories.

How many animals are currently endangered?

You might be wondering: How many animals, or which animals, are endangered in 2020? For the latest version of the list, IUCN researchers and scientists assessed 63,837 species. Of these, 19,817 are endangered; 3,947 are critically endangered; 5,766 are listed as endangered and more than 10,000 are listed as vulnerable.

What is the Endangered Species Act?

Passed in 1973, the Endangered Species Act is a U.S. federal law designed to protect threatened and endangered species that are at risk because "economic growth and development have been affected by insufficient attention and protection." The goal of the Act is to prevent species extinction and restore species to the point where they no longer need protection.

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extinct animal

red beans

Unlike modern amphibians, Eryops had well-developed ribs

ground squirrel

Ground squirrels are skilled diggers and can dig colony burrows larger than football fields!

Check out all our extinct animals.

extinct in wild animals


Some sandpipers can migrate over 8,000 miles without stopping!

See all our extinct wildlife.

critically endangered animals

golden mole

The golden mole is named for its iridescent fur, which gives it a shiny, iridescent effect.


When these monkeys want to mate, they wiggle their eyebrows.


Favored by sport anglers for its size and strength

View all of our critically endangered animals.

Endangered Animals

sei whale

This whale is the fastest of the cetaceans

dwarf wood rat

The presence of Nelsonia tails on trees suggests that these woodrats may have been arboreal at times.

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Vulnerable animals


They are the longest venomous snakes in the world.


fast billfish with a sail-like dorsal fin

bird snake

The Usambara vine snake sat motionless, swaying in the wind like a stick.

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Endangered Animals


Native to mainland Australia!

bird of prey

they swim like frogs

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least caring animal

sea hare

They acquire toxins from their prey to fight predators.

Check out all of our least caring animals.

data-deficient animals

View all of our data deficient animals.

unassessed animals

forest cobra

There are three different color morphs, all depending on the area they live in.

Check out all of our unevaluated animals.

Big List of Endangered Animals

list of extinct animals

Extinct list of wild animals

Critically Endangered Species List

Endangered Species List

List of Vulnerable Species

Near Threatened Species List

list of species of least concern

Data Deficient Species List

List of unassessed species

Different Types and Classes of Endangered Animals-1

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