In our ever expanding society increasing pollution, torn down forests, and changing terrain are causing serious problems with the environment. But it isn’t just out Ozone that is suffering, and as the years pass more and more animals are being put on the endangered species list, just a few hundred (and sometimes less) away from being completely extinct.

But what about those animals that were rare to begin with? Do they have a chance? Will out children even know what they are? Do we ever know now? Here is a list of the top 10 rarest animals in the world, and some of them you may have never heard of.

The Pinta Island Tortoise – This hard shelled turtle is more then just rare, he is unique. Being the only one remaining alive, he remains the sole survivor of the even diminishing species of Great Galapagos tortoises. Researchers are so desperate to find a female of the species that they are offering $10,000 to anyone who comes forward to offer a chance at saving the Pinta Island tortoise.

The Yangtze River Dolphin – This species of dolphin is found exclusively in China, and given the record expansion of China’s economic and social system, it has caused the Yangtze to become all but extinct as it has to compete for it’s habitat and limited resources of food with an enormous population.

The Vancouver Island Marmot – With only 75 currently listed as surviving in the wild, this little furry resident of the Vancouver mountains is getting some help from local conservationists to try to boost the numbers back up before it’s too late. Luckily, the little guys born raised in captivity are producing great numbers, and so look as though the species will be saved after all

The Seychelles Sheath-tailed Bat – No one is completely sure what is killing off the Sheath-tailed bat, and actually so little is known about their general patterns and behavior that no one knows what to do to increase their numbers either. But with fewer then 100 being reported in their native home of Madagascar, it’s clean something has to be done soon.

The Javan Rhino – The Javan isn’t the only species of Rhino that is quickly dying out, but it is the one that has the fastest reducing numbers, with less then 60 remaining in their native habitats across Indonesia and Vietnam.

The Hispid Hare – Being one of the only hares of it’s kind, the Hispid is a rabbit covered in bristly fur that lives in the Himalayan foothills around Nepal. There are now well under 100 in existence, and the numbers are continuing to decrease, even as conservationists attempt to breed them in captivity, an action that has so far proven unsuccessful.

The Northern Hairy-nosed Wombat – Located in Australia in the more tropical areas of the continent, the Hairy-nosed Wombat’s habitat has been decreasing, and so with it has it’s numbers. With less then 100 counted in the most recent environmental studies, massive funding by the local government has led to a huge conservation effort.

The Dwarf Water Buffalo – This bovine indigenous to the Philippines has seen a shocking reduction in the last hundred years. In the early 1900’s there was an estimated 10,000 alive in the region of Mindoro, and yet in 2002 they had found there to be somewhere between 50 – 200 alive. Illegal poaching still continues as the species dies out.

The Iberian Lynx – This tiny wildcat lives in the Andalusia region of Spain’s Iberian Peninsula. After it was found to have been killed down to just under 100 in 2001, the Spanish government began funding a mass conservation effort to save the species. The first three cubs born in captivity were announced in 2005, and from there success in further breeding has raised hopes that all is not lost for the Lynx.

The Red Wolf – Located in the southeastern United States regions, the red wolf is one of the smaller wolf species of the US. After a dramatic decrease to only 30 living Red Wolves, conservation efforts across the country were funded in earnest, and 200 were bred in captivity. Today, just over a hundred live, giving hope that they will be saved.

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