Protecting the world’s endangered species is vital for many reasons. Saving species helps preserve vibrant ecosystems we humans depend on every day.

Do you know these animals in danger of extinction? Test your knowledge below:

1

This ocean-dwelling mammal feeds on small fish, krill and plankton. But other types have very different diets. Some even hunt large prey.

Whales play an important role in ocean health. Unfortunately, size does not protect some of the largest creatures on Earth. Six out of the 13 great whale species are classified as endangered.

Whale

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Whale in water (Shutterstock)
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2

These social animals live in groups of two to 30 in Africa. But their numbers grow slowly: mothers may give birth three to four times over a four-decade lifespan.

Gorilla populations suffer because of widespread habitat destruction, the Ebola virus and poaching. A low rate of reproduction slows the species’ recovery.

Gorilla

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3

Demand for this animal’s horn drives widespread poaching. Made of the same protein as human fingernails, its horn is falsely purported to be medicinal.

Rhinos face threats from poaching and habitat loss. Very few survive outside of protected areas.

Rhino

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Rhino (Shutterstock)
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4

This inquisitive animal lives in the Galápagos Islands and Ecuador. More social than seals, it has visible ear flaps and lives in colonies.

Galápagos sea lions are vulnerable to changing ocean currents. Curiosity can cause sea lions to stray too close to fishing vessels and entangle themselves in nets.

Galápagos Sea Lion

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Sea lion (Shutterstock)
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5

These animals form complex social relationships to raise young and protect the herd. From foot to shoulder, some are 4 meters tall.

Every 15 minutes, poachers kill another elephant for its tusks. Demand for ivory has devastated elephant populations.

Elephant

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6

This carnivorous cat lives a mostly solitary life. It is a good swimmer and relies primarily on sight and sound to find prey.

Poachers and the cats’ competition with humans have cut into tiger populations. With an increasingly fragmented natural habitat, tigers rely on international partnerships for protection.

Tiger

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Tiger in field (Shutterstock)
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7

This scaly creature looks like an “artichoke with legs.” It eats ants and is the world’s most trafficked mammal.

Pangolins, found throughout Asia and Africa, risk extinction from poachers, who grind up the animal’s scales and sell it as a fake medicine.

Pangolin

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Cupped hands holding pangolin (Shutterstock)
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