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10 animals on the verge of extinction

By: Shea Gunther on Oct. 16, 2009, 11:21 p.m.

Photo: Tambako the Jaguar/Flickr

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It might be too late for lions. The number in the wild has dropped by as much as half in 20 years. Today there are an estimated 16,500 to 47,000 African lions, down from 400,000 in 1950. Their population has been carved up into ever-tightening, isolated ranges. Humans are spreading into these small pockets of space, and instability on the continent isn't conducive to conservation.