I have been wanting to write this post about Endangered Species for a long time. I came up with this idea a long time ago, but have not had the time to fully commit to it, between life and just getting the website started. I could not give it the full attention it deserved.
If you don’t know me, I am a huge Earth Care person. I believe in taking care of the planet and everything on it. Always have, always will. I am pretty sure it is ingrained in my DNA right next to ability to call every dog I see a puppy in a high pitched baby voice. It is just part of who I am.
When I was thinking about what I wanted to create this month, I happened to read an article of some of the current most endangered species around the world. About half way through the second paragraph, I knew I was making this list into my next peg doll set. I chose some of the most critically endangered species for these sets, I used the list found on the World Wildlife Fund’s website.
Native to the Eastern Russia, this leopard species has adapted to temperate forests instead of the savannas of Africa. They can run up to 37 miles per hour and live for 10-15 years in the wild.
They are poached for there beautiful fur, suffer from food scarcity and habitat loss.
Currently there are around 100 Amur Leopards in the wild.
One of the first species WWF has been fighting to protect since 1961. They have been hunted to near extinction by European settlers who arrived in Afric in the early 20th century.
Black rhinos can weigh up to 3,000 pounds. Rhinos are one of the oldest groups of mammals, they are basically living fossils!
Currently there are fewer than 5,000 in the wild. They are poached for their horns, which some believe contain magical properties.
There are three species of Bornean oranguatan in the Borneo area and all three are endangered. Although some species are more critically endangered than others.
Bornean Orangutans can weigh up to 220lbs and reach heights of 4.6 ft. Orangutan play an important part in the health of the forests they live in through seed dispersal.
There are between 45,000 – 69,000 left in the wild. The numbers are rapidly dwindling due to high rate of deforestation for palm oil and agriculture plantations. They are also suffering due to the illegal pet trade, where mother are killed as poachers snatch their young.
Although the Leatherback turtle are listed as vulnerable, there are some populations in the Pacific and SouthWest Atlantic that are critically endangered species.
The Leatherback turtle gets it’s name from it’s shell. It feels like leather and isn’t hard as other turtle species. Each turtle can weigh up to 1,500lbs!
Leatherback turtles are in serious decline due to intense egg collection and fisheries bycatch.
There are 8 species of these cute little guys, and all are under national and international protection. They range from vulnerable to critically endangered status.
When threatened they curl up into a ball, just like a Pokemon!
These wonderful elephants help keep the forest healthy by distributing seeds wherever they go.
They weigh roughly 5 tons and can reach 9ft high at the shoulder and grow up to 20ft in length.
There are roughly 2,500 in the wild currently. Deforestation of their habitat due to palm oil production is a major reason for their low numbers.
The Soala was only discovered in 1992! It was the first new mammal species found in more than 50 years. They are found only in the Annamite Mountains in Vietnam and Laos.
The Soala has two sharp horns that can reach 20 inches, and are found on both male and female. Even though they look like antelope, they are actually cousins of cattle.
Scientist aren’t sure how many there are in the wild. It is so rare to find. It is thought there could be as few as a dozen or a few hundred at a maximum.
There are only 60 Javan Rhinos in the world, all located in the Ujun Kulon National Park in Indonesia. The are the most threatened of the five Rhino species
They have a single horn of up to only 10inches. They have a lot of loose skin that makes it look like they have armor plating. They can way up to 5,000 lbs and are about 5.5ft high.
Eastern Lowland Gorilla
The Eastern Lowland Gorilla is the largest of the gorilla species. They are mainly found in the Democratic Republic of Congo, but have suffered greatly to the amount of civil unrest there.
An adult gorilla can weigh up to 440lb and reach as high as 6ft, when they stand on two legs. Despite their size, Gorilla’s mainly eat a vegetarian diet of stems, bamboo, and fruit, with the occasionally termite or ant.
Their population size is unknown, due to the civil unrest in DRC and access to their habitats. They suffer from poaching, diseases (like Ebola) and habitat destruction.
South China Tiger
Sadly, the South China Tiger has not been sighted in the wild in the last 25 years. They are only found in zoos and refuge areas in South Africa.
Deforestation and especially poaching were a main factor in the demise of the wild populations of the South China Tiger.
Currently there are over 3,000 animal species and over 2,600 plant species that are in danger of becoming extinct (see IUCN Red list). That to me is just astonishing. As a mother, I want to create a better world for my kids, grandkids, their kids and grandkids. The thought that my grandkids may never see certain animals in the wild or even know that they are living in the wild boggles my mind.
In addition to creating these Endangered Species peg doll sets to raise awareness, I am giving back as well. For every set sold, I will donate 10% of what ever I make to the World Wildlife Fund to help with their efforts to bring back all the endangered species around the world.
You are able to purchase these Endangered species here and here. I am excited for these sets, they have challenged me artistically, ethically and have made me think deeper on the type of business I want to create.