87 Animals That Will Be Extinct by 2050 (Includes Rarest Animal in the World)

Georgette Kilgore headshot, wearing 8 Billion Trees shirt with forest in the background.Written by Georgette Kilgore

Animals | November 9, 2023

Woman looks up at a 2050 calendar with her finger on her chin wondering which are the animals that will be extinct by 2050 as animal shape silhouettes float above.

In contrast to the single mass extinction event that decimated the Earth’s dinosaur population, the world is rapidly moving towards several animal extinction events with a devastating number of animals that will be extinct by 2050, according to many scientists.

In fact, some of the rarest animals in the world didn’t get that way naturally. Like the rarest trees in the world, some of these species are threatened by caused that non one could have predicted hundreds of years ago.

The Vaquita, an aquatic cetacean, is he rarest animal in the world, with only 10 of these animals left.

But, that doesn’t mean you can’t impact this dynamic. These animals are under extreme threat, but nothing is impossible and many people are working to preserving them. So, saving these species isn’t impossible.

87 Animals That Will Be Extinct by 2050

The list of animals that will be extinct by 2050 comprises land animals, sea animals, birds, amphibians, reptiles, fishes, crustaceans, and more. There are currently 37,400 species threatened with extinction of which 3,483 are classified as critically endangered.

All of these animals have a 50% chance of becoming extinct by 2050.18

The below table indicates a comprehensive list of 87 animals within all these species that could become extinct by 205028 if climate change and destructive human activity and hunting continue:19

Animals That Will Be Extinct by 2050
1.Amur Leopard
2.Sumatran Elephant
3.Arabian Leopard
4.Sunda Tiger
5.African Lion
6.Bornean Orangutan
7.African Wild Dog
8.Asian Elephant
9.Red Wolf
10.Eastern Lowland Gorilla
11.Black-Footed Ferret
12.Mountain Gorilla
13.Red Panda
14.Yangtze Finless Porpoise
16.Sumatran Rhino
17.Pygmy Raccoon
18.African Forest Elephant
19.Vancouver Island Marmot
20.Cross River Gorilla
21.South China Tiger
22.Asiatic Cheetah
24.Sahafary Sportive Lemur
25.Polar Bear
28.Northern Hairy-Nosed Wombat
29.Whale Sharks
30.Bactrian Camel
31.Northern Muriqui
32.Hawksbill Sea Turtle
33.Loggerhead Sea Turtle
34.Sea Otter
35.Blue Whale
36.Fin Whale
37.River Dolphins
38.Florida Manatee
39.Galapagos Penguin
40.Hawaiian Monk Seal
41.Kemp’s Ridley Sea Turtle
42.Burmese Roofed Turtle
45.Great Hammerhead Shark29
46.Smalleye Hammerhead Shark
47.Scalloped Hammerhead Shark
48.Ringed Seal
49.Harlequin Filefish
50.Atlantic Halibut
51.Beluga Sturgeon
52.Southern Bluefin Tune
53.Nassau Grouper
54.Winter Skate
55.Red Tuna
56.Sceloporus Lizard
57.Eurasian Lizard
58.Anatolian Water Frog
59.Jamaican Iguana
60.Philippine Crocodile
63.California Condor
64.Red-Headed Vulture
65.Indian White-Rumped Vulture
66.Slender-Billed Vulture
67.Indian Vulture
68.Mariana Fruit Dove
69.Hooded Grebe
70.Northern Bald Ibis
71.Regent Honeyeater
73.Sierra Nevada Yellow-Legged Frog
74.California Red-Legged Frog
75.Chiricahua Leopard Frog
76.Dusky Gopher Frog
78.Chinese Giant Salamander
79.Arroyo Toad
80.Oregon Spotted Frog
81.Flatwoods Salamander
82.Amargosa Toad
84.Peacock Tarantula
85.Chinese Giant Salamander
86.Rameshwaram Parachute Spider
87.Crau Plain Grasshopper

Keep reading to learn more about the most threatened animal species and the rarest animals in the world.

Endangered Species (Including Animals That Will Be Extinct in 2050)

The IUCN Red List20 details the conservation status of all endangered species in the world, including plants, fungi, and animals. The numbers are terrifying, with more than 40,000 on the list currently threatened with extinction.

The following table lists 15 of the most endangered animals right now, that are on the brink of extinction:1

Endangered AnimalConservation StatusCurrent Population
African Forest ElephantCritically Endangered415,000 (all African elephants in total)
Eastern Lowland GorillaCritically EndangeredEstimated 4,000
Giant IbisCritically EndangeredEstimated 200
Hawksbill TurtleCritically EndangeredEstimated 8,000
Javan RhinocerosCritically EndangeredEstimated 75
OrangutanEndangered, Critically Endangered104,700 Bornean
7,500 Sumatran
800 Tapanuli
VaquitaCritically EndangeredEstimated 10
Gray WolfEndangered12,650 to 16,850
Irrawaddy DolphinEndangeredEstimated 92
KoalaEndangeredEstimated 100,000 (the number could be as low as 43,000)
Bluefin TunaEndangeredIndeterminate
TigerEndangeredEstimated 3,900
Giant PandaVulnerable1,864 in the wild
Polar BearVulnerable22,000 – 31,000
Island FoxThreatenedEstimated 8,702

Animals That Will Be Extinct by 2050

Out of the above-mentioned species, the following are the animals that will be extinct by 2050 if conservation methods are not drastically ramped up.

  • Giant Panda
  • Hawksbill Turtle
  • Bornean Orangutan
  • South China Tiger
  • Rhinoceros
  • Polar Bear
  • Gorilla

Endangered Species Declared Extinct

The following endangered species have recently been declared extinct:

1. Christmas Island Pipistrelles

The endemic Christmas Island bat (pipistrelle) was declared extinct after the last sighting of an individual bat occurred in 2009.

2. Pyrenean Ibex

The Pyrenean ibex was declared extinct after the last known female was found dead. Scientists believe that a lethal combination of poaching, disease, and invasive species sped up the extinction of the ibex.

Photo of a Pyrenean Ibex while eating grass

(Image: Sies Kranen31)

An attempt was made to clone the Pyrenean ibex after cells from the last known female were preserved. The cloned baby died minutes after birth.

3. Po’ouili

The last confirmed sighting of these forest birds, endemic to East Maui, occurred in 2004. The species was declared extinct in 2021.

4. Splendid Poison Frog

Splendid poison frogs once thrived in the lowlands and wet forests of Panama before a fungal outbreak in 1996 likely caused instant extinction for this species. Even before the disease outbreak, the last of these frogs were sighted in 1992, and the species was declared extinct in 2020.

5. Ivory-Billed Woodpecker

The elusive ivory-billed woodpecker21 was the largest of its kind in North America. The last official sighting occurred in 1944 and the species was declared extinct in 2021.

6. Bramble Cay Melomys

The Australian government confirmed the extinction of the Bramble Cay Melomys in 2019 after the last sighting took place in 2009.

The Bramble Cay Melomys is the first mammal to become extinct on the coral island at the edge of the Great Barrier Reef, solely due to climate change and subsequent rising sea levels.2

How Many Animals Are Extinct?

While 99% of the evolved four billion species in the world are gone, the most recent extinction events are due to human activity. The IUCN Red List estimates that a total of 900 species have gone extinct since 1500, including the following:3

Name of SpeciesNumber That Has Become Extinct

There have been five mass extinctions so far, with most of the extinction events driven by calamities such as climate change, global warming, rising sea levels, ocean acidification, and volcanism.

The extinction events were marked by spikes in extinction rates and are classed as follows:

Extinction EventMYA (Age)Species Lost (%)Main Causes
End Ordovician44486%The rise in sea levels led to a shift in shorelines. The tectonic shift in Appalachian mountains, sequestration of CO2, climate change, and changes in ocean chemistry.
Late Devonian36075%Rapid growth and diversification of land plants resulting in severe global cooling
End Permian25096%Volcanic activity results in global warming, acid rain, and ocean acidification.
End Triassic20080%Underwater volcanic activity resulting in severe global warming
End Cretaceous6576%Asteroid impact resulting in global cataclysm and rapid cooling.

It is believed that the world is headed for a sixth mass extinction driven by human activity. It is also believed that while the previous mass extinctions occurred over millions of years, the next one is a mere couple of decades away.

Recently Extinct Animals

Because the current extinction rate22 is much higher and faster than anticipated, the recently extinct animals list covers 150 years, as opposed to thousands or millions of years. These species include the following:4

SpeciesDeclared Extinct – YearCause of extinction
Smooth Handfish2020Habitat loss and destructive fishing
Yangtze River Dolphin (Baiji)2006Overfishing, pollution, poaching, boat traffic
(The Yangtze River Dolphin is the first dolphin species to become extinct due to human activity)
Northern White Rhinoceros (Male)2018Poaching
Spix Macaw (extinct in the wild)2019Illegal trapping and trade
Thylacine1936Overhunting by humans and hunting by Dingo populations
Passenger Pigeon1914Overhunting by humans
Quagga1883Overhunting by humans
Zanzibar Leopard1993Aggressive hunting by locals
Caroline Parakeet1918Deforestation, disease, and hunting
West African Black Rhino2006Poaching
Falkland Islands Wolf1876Hunting
Javan Tiger2003Loss of habitat and agricultural development
Pinta Island Tortoise2012Humans killing the tortoises for meat, goats destroying natural habitat
Schomburgk’s Deer2006Hunting by humans, tigers, and leopards

Animals That Will Be Extinct by 2050

In 2022 more species have been declared extinct. These include:

  • Maryland Darter
  • Norwegian Wolf
  • Four species of Czech orchid
  • Du Toit’s Torrent Frog
  • Rodrigues Blue-Dotted Day Gecko

It is already too late to save the northern white rhino and the Pinta Island tortoise and if destructive human activities and climate change continue to wreak destruction, the following animals will likely become extinct by 2050.

North Atlantic Right Whale

In 2022, there are fewer than 350 North Atlantic right whales left in the world. The whales were hunted to near extinction in the 19th century and human activity is preventing them from regaining their population numbers.


The gharial is a critically endangered crocodile found in Northern India and Nepal. There are less than 250 individuals in the wild and conservation breeding programs have proven ineffective. This means that the gharial will likely be extinct by 2050.

Vancouver Island Marmot

The most critically endangered of Canada’s mammals, the Vancouver Island marmot was believed to be making a slow comeback. However, in 2022 their population is decreasing again and there are only around 250 marmots left in the wild.5

Extinct Animals Found

On occasion, animals are mistakenly believed to have become extinct. This was the case with the rediscovery of the Bermuda petrel which was believed to have gone extinct in the 1620s. In 1951, 18 nesting pairs of the Bermuda petrel23 were discovered on remote islets in Castle Harbor in Bermuda.

These birds are still on the brink of extinction, with their global numbers totaling around 250.

The below list highlights more species that have been rediscovered after they were mistakenly believed to be extinct.

  • Chacoan Peccary
  • Coelacanth
  • Lord Howe Island Stick Insect
  • La Palma Giant Lizard
  • Takahe
  • Cuban Solenodon
  • New Caledonian Crested Gecko
  • New Holland Mouse
  • Giant Palouse Earthworm
  • Large-Billed Reedwarbler
  • Laotian Rock Rat6

Extinct Animals: Pictures

This gallery24 details the names and drawn images of animals that have become extinct over the years. This next gallery25 contains real-life photographs of now-extinct animals.

Rarest Animal in the World

The vaquita (Phocoena sinus) is a critically endangered porpoise only found in the northwestern corner of the Gulf of California. It is the most endangered cetacean in the world with only 10 individuals remaining. It is thought that the species will be extinct in 10 years, due to illegal fishing operations in marine protected areas.7

The vaquita is the most endangered sea mammal, and in 2022 the most endangered land animal is the Amur leopard with population numbers estimated to be around 84. Poaching for their coats and bones has decimated the amur leopard species, with climate change adding to the risk of extinction.8

How Many Leopards Are Left in the Wild?

In addition to the Amur leopard being critically endangered, wild leopards are under threat due to destructive human activities and habitat loss.

Photo of a Leopard looking fiercely and bravely at the camera as it gently walks on a field of grass.

(Image: Kurt Cotoaga32)

There are nine subspecies of leopards namely:

  • African Leopard
  • Indian Leopard
  • Persian Leopard
  • Arabian Leopard
  • Indochinese Leopard
  • North-Chinese Leopard
  • Sri Lankan Leopard
  • Javan Leopard
  • Amur Leopard

It has been estimated that a mere 10,000 leopards are left in the wild in 2022. Among these, the Sri Lankan and Persian leopard populations are critically endangered, as are the Amur and Javan leopard populations.9

How Many Rhinos Are Left in the Wild?

Due to excessive and brutal poaching, there are only around 27,000 rhinos left in the wild in 2022. The population numbers of the distinct species of rhino are allocated as follows:10

Rhino SpeciesPopulation
White Rhino17,000 – 19,000
Black Rhino5,366 – 5,630
Greater One-Horned Rhino3,700
Sumatran RhinoFewer than 80
Javan Rhino75

Extensive preservation measures are in place in an attempt to curb the rapid decline in the population numbers of the most vulnerable rhino species. These include wild rhinos being introduced to protected sanctuaries and improving the laws regarding rhino habitats.

How Many Saola Are Left in the World: 2022

The saola is one of the world’s rarest large mammals and is native to the Annamite Range in Vietnam and Laos. This mammal is also known as an Asian unicorn or spindle horn and is usually identified by its two, nearly parallel, horns.

There are no saolas in captivity and it has been estimated that fewer than 100 remain in the world in 2022. It is a critically endangered species, with the rate of decline expected to continue to worsen.

Once the wild population is lost, the species will be extinct.26

Animals That Will Be Extinct by the Following Years

Continuous estimations are done by the ICUN Red List and other wildlife organizations that highlight the years in which certain animals may become extinct if preservation methods fail. The following table indicates the expected year(s) in which extinction events are likely to occur:11

Animals That Will Be Extinct By 2025Asian Elephants
Animals That Will Be Extinct By 2025Mountain Gorillas
Animals That Will Be Extinct By 2030Orangutans
Animals That Will Be Extinct By 2030Vaquitas
Animals That Will Be Extinct By 2030Tigers
Animals That Will Be Extinct By 2036Rhinos
Animals That Will Be Extinct By 2080Leatherback Sea Turtles

What Animal Will Be Extinct in 2023?

With the rate of extinctions far exceeding expectations, it has been estimated that the following animals could potentially be extinct or face extinction as early as 2023:

  • Rhinos
  • South China Tigers
  • Hawksbill Sea Turtles
  • Lemurs

While the Giant Panda is no longer on the list of ‘imminent extinction,’ and has been upgraded from endangered to vulnerable, their numbers remain low. The next and ongoing threat is the destruction of the Giant Panda’s natural bamboo habitat by worsening climate change over the next 80 years.12

Related Reading: 8 Endangered Tree Species helping Fight Climate Change

Will Elephants Be Extinct by 2025?

Statistics and data reveal that an elephant is killed every fifteen minutes by poachers for its ivory teeth. While habitat destruction and species fragmentation are also to blame for dwindling elephant populations, there is no doubt that humans are the biggest threat to these gentle giants.

Thousands of elephants die due to poaching each year and if this trend continues, it is a very real possibility that the species will be wiped out by 2025.13

African forest elephant populations have declined by 62% between 2002-2011, while African savanna elephant populations declined by 30% between 2007-2014. The downward spiral is continuing at present after cumulative losses totaling nearly 90% were recorded between 2011 and 2015.

Will Lions Be Extinct by 2050? (Animals That Will Be Extinct by 2050)

African lion populations are threatened by habitat loss and fragmentation, illegal wildlife trade and conflict as well as extractives.

African lion numbers have dwindled by between 40% – 90% over the last 100 years mainly because of illegal hunting and loss of habitat.

Photo of a family of lions as they take a rest on the field.

(Image: Leonard von Bibra33)

While lions are not currently listed as endangered in Africa, three-quarters of the lion population on the continent remains in decline. Their numbers total around 23,000 in the wild, which has the species listed as ‘vulnerable’ on the ICUN Red List. Lions have already become extinct in 26 African countries.

It has been estimated that African lions27 could become extinct by 2050 if poaching and habitat loss are allowed to continue unabated.14

Fortunately, preservation and protection programs are having a mostly positive effect on lion population numbers, and some are experiencing a growth in numbers.

Animals That Will Be Extinct by 2050

Scientists believe that the sixth mass extinction is well underway and that it could lead to half of all species on Earth being extinct by 2050. These species include:

  • Lions
  • Elephants
  • Pandas
  • Pangolins
  • Sea Turtles
  • Rhinos
  • Polar Bears
  • Tigers
  • Dolphins
  • Great Apes
  • Cheetahs
  • Whales
  • Frogs
  • Lemurs
  • Leopards
  • Koalas
  • Saolas
  • Bees15

Will Bees Be Extinct by 2050?

Bees are the most important group of pollinators, and they sustain populations of plants that, in turn, support biodiversity and ecosystems. Bees provide honey, royal jelly, and pollen. Pollination fertilizes plants which then produce seeds, fruit, and vegetables.

Photo of thousands of Bees that are busy creating honeycomb.

(Image: MemorySlashVision34)

If all the bees in the world became extinct, the balance of Earth’s ecosystem would be upended, and global food supplies would be in severe jeopardy.

In 2022, eight species of bees are on the endangered list out of the 4,000 species that contribute to pollination. Seven of these form part of the Hawaiian, yellow-faced bee species namely:

  • Hylaeus anthracinus
  • Hylaeus longiceps
  • Hylaeus assimulans
  • Hylaeus facilis
  • Hylaeus hilaris
  • Hylaeus kuakea
  • Hylaeus mana16

The eighth bee on the endangered list is the rusty-patched bumblebee.

It is believed that if global warming causes temperatures to rise by 3.2 degrees centigrade by 2050, 13 bumblebee species will likely become extinct, as will 24 birds, 15 trees, and 270 moths. It is also believed that the bumblebees will be the first to become extinct.17

Related Reading: What is an Ecological Footprint?

87 Animals That Will Be Extinct by 2050

The list of animals that will be extinct by 2050 comprises land animals, sea animals, birds, amphibians, reptiles, fishes, crustaceans, and more. There are currently 37,400 species threatened with extinction of which 3,483 are classified as critically endangered.

All of these animals have a 50% chance of becoming extinct by 2050.18

The below table indicates a comprehensive list of 87 animals within all these species that could become extinct by 205028 if climate change and destructive human activity and hunting continue:19

Animals That Will Be Extinct by 2100

The 87 animal species mentioned above are the metaphorical tip of the iceberg when it comes to the number of animals that will be extinct30 by 2100.

Photo of an elephant wandering in the wild.

(Image: Venkat Ragavan35)

It has been estimated that around 550 mammal species will go extinct in the next 80 years. Scientists believe that the world will enter a second wave of extinction by the year 2100 which will be several times worse than the current rate of extinction.

Some scientists are of the opinion that Australia and the Caribbean are already experiencing the effects of the second wave of extinction. These signs likely indicate that the animals that will be extinct by 2050 may increase as the years go by, but hopefully humans can intervene and make a difference.

Frequently Asked Questions About Animals That Will Be Extinct by 2050

What Is an Endangered Species?

An endangered species refers to any animal species threatened with extinction due to external factors.

Will the Amur Leopard Be Extinct by 2050?

It is believed that the critically endangered Amur Leopard might become extinct as early as 2030.

What Is the Most Endangered Rhino Species?

The Sumatran Rhino is the most endangered of all rhino species.

Will Bees Be Extinct by 2050?

There is a possibility that 13 species of bumblebee might become extinct by 2050.

Rarest Animal in the World?

The vaquita is the rarest animal in the world. This cetacean is among the animals that will be extinct by 2050.


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34Photo by MemorySlashVision. Pexels. Retrieved from <https://www.pexels.com/photo/bees-in-beehive-6844504/>

35Photo by Venkat Ragavan. Pexels. Retrieved from <https://www.pexels.com/photo/black-elephant-near-trees-982021/>