The Earth is losing animals really, really fast.
According to the WWF, experts calculate that between 0.01 and 0.1 per cent of all species will go extinct each year. That means, for example, that if there are 100,000,000 different species on the planet, at least 10,000 of them die off annually.
Kind of scary, isn’t it?
For those who think humans have nothing to do with this phenomenon, take into consideration that the current pace of die-offs is anywhere between 1,000 to 10,000 times higher than the natural extinction rate. In fact, our planet is actually going through its sixth mass extinction crisis.
Here are some of the animals most likely to disappear in your lifetime:
8 animals that could go extinct in your lifetime
Polar BearsPolar Bears are listed as "vulnerable" by the WWF, but global warming is making it very likely that they could be wiped out completely over the next 100 years. As the Arctic warms, water bodies take longer to refreeze in the fall, leaving polar bears unable to get food for longer and longer stretches of time. As a result, there have been reports of the animals cannibalizing each other out of sheer desperation. Getty
Leatherback turtlesThese prehistoric animals outlived the dinosaurs, but they may not be able to handle humans. The world's most endangered marine turtle is in decline, primarily as a result of being caught as fishing bycatch or accidentally being killed by fishing fleets. As few as 2,300 adult females remain in the Pacific Ocean. Getty
TigersIn the last 10 years alone, the tiger habitat has diminished by a shocking 45 per cent due to deforestation and construction. But if you go back even further, you realize that these large animals have actually lost 93 per cent of their historical range. Today, only about 3,200 of them are left. Getty
Javan rhinoThe Javan rhino could be the rarest large mammal on Earth, with no more than 50 remaining. In 2011, it was officially confirmed that the Javan rhino had become extinct in Vietnam. Poaching remains the greatest threat to this species' existence. The Canadian Press
Sumatran orangutansThere's only about 7,300 Sumatran orangutans left in the world, and they can all be found in Indonesia. To make things even worse, the WWF reports that out of the nine existing populations of the animal that remain, only seven have prospects of long-term viability. The biggest threats to Sumatran orangutans include logging and forest conversion. Future projections say that if habitat loss continues at the current rate, the population will decline by 97 per cent over the next 50 years. Getty
bluefin tunaStop all-you-can-eating! The sushi industry is largely to blame for the dwindling bluefin tuna population. Most of the fish that end up on your plate these days didn't even have a chance to mature into adults before they were caught, which has helped drop their numbers by up to 33 per cent over the past 22 years. It also doesn't help that catch limits for the animal were recently raised worldwide. The Canadian Press
BeesBees play an essential role in supporting and sustaining ecosystems worldwide. But insecticides, herbicides and global warming are wiping them out across the globe. According to a study by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature, 10 per cent of European bee species face extinction. Out of those affected, about half of them are expected to be threatened in the near future. Getty
Mountain GorillaAccording to the WWF, there are only about 880 mountain gorillas left in the world. War, hunting, habitat loss and disease are all to blame for their dwindling numbers. But thanks to dedicated conservation efforts, their population is slowly beginning to rise. Even still, they are classified as critically endangered. Getty