These animals said "No, not today", and came back from the brink of extinction — stronger than ever! Meet the heroes who teach us that it's possible to overcome even the direst of circumstances!
As we mark World Wildlife Day today, it's clear that there is still a long way to go in terms of wildlife conservation. However, these once-extinct animals are reminders of the fact that not all hope is lost. 'When life knocks you down, you get right back up' — and that is exactly what these animals did, going against all odds to prove that they still have a place on the planet. Let's celebrate their wins against extinction together!
This spiky dude is native to the Cayman Islands and was once critically endangered due to habitat loss and hunting. By 2002, only 15 of them remained. However, in the 1980s, Cambridge University student Fred Burton discovered one of them and started a breeding program to protect the rest. Thanks to his work and many conservationists, the Blue Iguana population has bounced back. In fact, in 2018, the 1,000th blue iguana was released into the wild. Isn’t that awesome?
Humans have not been the best friend of this majestic creature. We hunted it so much that it almost went extinct! But, like a phoenix rising from the ashes, the grey wolf population has slowly been making a comeback thanks to the hard work of conservationists. Although they might not reach the same numbers as before (over 2 million!), the US now has almost 4,500 wolves in the Lower 48 states!
Can you imagine life without our favourite cuddly bears?
The giant pandas, who were once in danger of disappearing forever now have a population of over 2,000 thanks to China's efforts to restore bamboo forests — their main source of food and habitat.
The return of these adorable aquatic animals is one of the greatest comebacks in history. The species, which had a population of only 2,000 in 1911 has now rebounded to about 100,000 globally. They used to be extensively hunted for their fur, resulting in their near extinction. However, owing to conservation efforts, these animals can now continue to live their cute little lives uninterrupted — collecting rocks and holding hands as per their usual daily routine!
The brown pelicans were driven out by many factors — pesticides, habitat loss, and the plume hunters of the 19th century. However, conservation efforts beginning in the 1970s successfully brought the species back, and they were successfully delisted in 2009! With their large beaks and 60-foot dive, these stunning animals are not done reigning over the beaches just yet!
Beavers, once extinct in the UK due to hunting, are returning thanks to conservation efforts inspired by successful European programs. These helpful constructors make dams that help to create wetlands and improve ecosystems. In 2021, a beaver family was spotted on the River Avon without human intervention for the first time in 400 years!
Indian Wild Tiger
100 years ago, there were over 100,000 of these majestic big cats in the world. Sadly, due to human activities such as habitat destruction and hunting, their population decreased significantly to a mere 3,200 in 2010. Conservation efforts and measures, including Project Tiger, launched by the government, have helped increase their numbers. In fact, it is reported that India's wild tiger population has increased by 33% since 2015!
As always, the animal kingdom continues to be amazing! These species serve to remind us that protection and conservation can go a long way in restoring our planet’s wildlife. So, let’s keep up our efforts and continue to work towards a brighter future for all of Earth's inhabitants. Happy World Wildlife Day, everyone!