10 Species That Could Go Extinct in Our Lifetime

This list highlights only a few of the animals featured on the IUCN red list. “IUCN” stands for the International Union for the Conservation of Nature, an organization dedicated to the protection and conservation of natural resources. Their red list is considered the go-to reference for the endangerment status of thousands of species including animals, plants, insects and fungi. This article features ten well-known species; however, there are currently 2,996 critically endangered animal species on the red list. According to the World Wildlife Fund, “critically endangered” species face an extremely high risk of extinction versus “endangered” species, which face a very high risk. Either way, it isn’t great to be threatened with extinction at any level. Below are only some of the animal species that we may see go extinct within our lifetimes.

  1. 1. Sumatran Orangutan

    Can be found in: Sumatra (island of Indonesia)

    Population status: Decreasing

  2. 2. Red Wolf

    Can be found in: North Carolina

    Population status: Decreasing

  3. 3. California Condor

    Can be found in: California Coastline

    Population status: Increasing (since last assessed in 2018)

  4. 4. Cross River Gorilla

    Can be found in: Nigeria

    Population status: Decreasing

  5. 5. Pygmy Three-Toed Sloth

    Can be found in: Small island off the east coast of Panama

    Population status: Decreasing

  6. 6. Black Rhinoceros

    Can be found in: Regions of southern Africa

    Population status: Increasing (since last assessed in 2011)

  7. 7. Pygmy Racoon

    Can be found in: Cozumel Island

    Population status: Decreasing

  8. 8. Red-Crowned Roof Turtle

    Can be found in: Freshwater areas of South Asia

    Population status: Decreasing

  9. 9. White-Bellied Heron

    Can be found in: Eastern Himalayan Mountains

    Population status: Decreasing

  10. 10. Vancouver Island Marmot

    Can be found in: West coast mountains of Vancouver

    Population status: Decreasing

Common causes of a species becoming endangered or extinct include pollution, loss of habitat, climate change, loss of food source and over-hunting by humans. So, what can we do to help?


You can make little changes every day including consuming less plastic goods, actively recycling, buying ethically-sourced products and any other method to help reduce your overall carbon footprint. You can also volunteer your time and support to cleanup projects and organizations like the IUCN and the WWF. We all need to work together to save these species and leave the Earth better than we found it.