Conservation efforts have failed for many of them
This species, related to cattle and antelope, was first identified in 1992 and only lives in remote stretches of Vietnam and Laos. A living saola was first photographed in 1999. Referred to as “Asian unicorns,” saolas are notable for the pair of nearly parallel horns. Sightings of the creature remain rare, and none have ever been observed by scientists in the wild. Unfortunately, because they are so seldom seen, it is assumed that any intact population of saola exists, and thus they are not a conservation priority.
Once the most common Asian rhinoceros, this species is now critically endangered and only one known population exists in the wild with fewer than 100 members. Trophy hunting, the black market, and loss of habitat due to human conflict has severely impacted this species’ decline.
The rarest big cat on Earth, this beautiful animal only had an estimated 19-26 members still alive in the wild in 2007. While that estimate increased to closer to 60 in 2015, the Amur leopard still remains critically endangered due to poaching and the exploitation of forests and their other natural habitats.