Malayan Tiger (Panthera tigris jacksoni)
This rare species is found only one place on Earth – the Malay Peninsula in southern Thailand, where only an estimated 200 of the cats remain. Tragically, China, which has traditionally used tiger bone for certain medicines, recently reversed a ban on the use of tiger parts; it’s a move that the WWF calls “an enormous setback for wildlife conservation.” Another: tigers are often killed by Malayan villagers protecting their livestock; however, this is one area where WWF is concentrating its efforts and may see good results.
African wild dog (Lycaon Pictus)
These fast-running, critically endangered hunters of the African deserts and grasslands are down to paltry numbers – about 3000 by most recent count. As with Malayan tigers, standoffs with livestock farmers have proved detrimental to their populations, but so have rampant diseases like rabies and distemper. They’re also rapidly losing habitat; conservation efforts are focused on connecting wildlife corridors to game preserves.
Black-footed ferret (Mustela nigripes)
Some good news for a change: this denizen of the Northern Great Plains of the United States, once thought extinct, has been given ‘a second chance for survival’ thanks to multiple, decades-long conservation efforts (especially among tribal groups). Still, with numbers hovering around 350, it might be too soon to celebrate – especially since North America’s only native ferret species, which is prone to sylvatic plague, is also quickly losing habitat.