MNN Galleries

11 animals on the verge of extinction

By: Shea Gunther on Aug. 22, 2016, 5:03 p.m.
African elephants at a watering hole

Photo: Blaine Stuart/Shutterstock

5 of 12

Elephants

There are about 470,000 African elephants in the wild. Habitat fragmentation as a result of human land use aggravates elephant populations. Meanwhile, Poachers hunt elephants for their tusks, a relationship that has changed their evolutionary path — elephants with shorter tusks are breeding more and producing offspring with increasingly stunted tusks. Meanwhile, Elephants don't breed until they're teenagers and gestation lasts for 22 months — creating a population that struggles to bounce back.