Some of the most endangered animals in the world are the ivory-billed woodpecker, the western lowland gorilla, the leatherback sea turtle, the tiger and the Chinese giant salamander. Other endangered animals include the little dodo bird, the Amur leopard and the Javan rhinoceros.
The ivory-billed woodpecker is the third largest woodpecker species in the world. Its population decreased drastically in the 1800s due to the destruction of its habitat. Though experts believed it had gone completely extinct, naturalists spotted the bird in Arkansas in 2005. Further sightings have been rare and the woodpecker remains critically endangered.
The western lowland gorilla is the smallest subspecies of gorilla and the one most often seen in zoos. Its habitat is montane, primary and secondary forests, as well as lowland swamps. Both habitat destruction and female infertility are main factors threatening the gorilla population. The species is also prone to a degenerative heart disease called cardiomyopathy.
The leatherback sea turtle is the largest living turtle and is easily recognizable due to its lack of a hard shell back. Its back consists merely of skin and oily flesh. Young leatherback turtles face a wide range of serious predators, even when still in the egg. Though adult sea turtles have better means to fight off certain predators, they still face threats from larger sea creatures, as well as land animals such as the jaguar.