Chitral Today
Latest Updates and Breaking News

The last roar

Ubaid Sahil

Species have declined very rapidly at an alarming speed in the past few centuries. Many have gone extinct, while a majority of species have found their status on red lists of endangerment.

The factors that have caused population decline in these species over the past few centuries include illegal hunting and poaching, over-exploitation of natural resources, agricultural and industrial expansion, and environmental issues such as climate change.

Although the real statistics are not documented, estimations suggest that the number of extinct species over the 20th Century was in the hundreds. According to the Young People’s Trust For the Environment, over 157 known mammal species went extinct during the 20th Century. A study published in Mongabay reveals that an estimated 543 species of vertebrates have gone extinct since 1900.

A World Atlas report suggests that since the beginning of the 21st century, approximately 17 animal species have gone extinct. The species that went extinct in the 20th Century include the Barbary Lion, Golden Toad, passenger pigeon, and the Pyrenean Ibex. These statistics show that species are declining at an alarming pace, and urgent measures are of utmost necessity to save the natural world. As of today, according to Wikipedia, an average of 2,400 trees are cut down every minute worldwide.

According to studies, the lion population stood at 200,000 worldwide in the early years of the 20th century. Today, the lion population stands somewhere between 20,000 to 25,000, and estimations suggest that if the declining rate remains the same, lions could become extinct by 2050. Currently, on an annual scale, over 600 lions are hunted every year. Cheetahs share a similar story; according to National Geographic, there were an estimated 100,000 cheetahs in the world. As of today, no more than 7,000 cheetahs are left in the wild.

The elephant population was over 10 million in 1900, but today they number no more than 450,000. According to WWF, over 20,000 elephants are killed every year in Africa. The rhinoceros population was over 500,000 at the start of the 1900s; however, currently, it stands at no more than 27,000. Estimates suggest that the tiger population in 1900 was around 100,000; today, it stands at 5,500.

What these statistics are indicating is that if the decline rate of species continues at the same pace, our future generations may not have a chance to see these majestic species. According to estimations, by the beginning of 2100, iconic species such as lions, cheetahs, orangutans, gorillas, and rhinoceroses may be at risk of extinction.

Globally, international communities are making every possible effort to minimize the decline rate of species. In Pakistan, we also need to make our own efforts to save and preserve our natural treasures, as our species are also on the red lists of endangerment and may become extinct in the future.

(Ubaid Sahil is a student and writer. He can be reached at

You might also like

Leave a comment

error: Content is protected!!