10 Endangered Ocean Species and Marine Animals That Need Our Help

10 Endangered Ocean Species and Marine Animals That Need Our Help

Our ecosystem consists of interdependent plants and animals, which form a complex web of life. This diversity of life on earth, biodiversity, which has many interactions between species, is the most vital to the existence of our planet and, in particular, of humanity. Thus, the extinction of a single species may have an impact on the entire biological system of life and living things.

Unfortunately, the improper intervention of human beings in nature is pushing a number of species in the ecosystem to the brink of extinction. The unprecedented natural extinction of these species is not limited to the endangered functioning of the ecosystem.

On this Endangered Species Day, we 're trying to highlight some of the most vulnerable populations of animals and what you can do to help to protect them.

1. Finless Porpoise.

The critically endangered finless porpoise is known to be amazingly smart and can be found in lakes and rivers — especially the Yangtze — in Southeast and East Asia. The World Wildlife Foundation estimates that there's only about 1,800 finless porpoises left in the wild, with that number consistently declining.

2. The Southern Sea Otter.

Despite the densest fur on the planet, sea otters live in dark, blubber-free waters that insulate many marine mammals. We do need to eat a lot to keep them warm: we consume up to a quarter of their body weight every day. While Northern Sea Otters, living off the U.S. West Coast from Alaska to Washington, have a large population of about 77,000, fewer than 3,000 Southern Sea Otters live off the coast of California.

3. Dugong.

Even though similar in appearances to the manatee, the dugong is a separate species (even though both dugongs and manatees belong to the order of Sirenia). Dugongs are sweet, beautiful animals that eat vegetarian diets and can reach up to 650 pounds as adults.

4. Gharial.

This gharial gnarly-looking is a crocodile, and it is critically endangered. Gharials, oftentimes called gavials, are easily identifiable by their elongated, narrow snouts. They thrive in freshwater systems, and National Geographic reports that although they have been found all the way from "Pakistan to Myanmar," they are now only found in India and Nepal.

5. Cape Penguin. 

The Cape penguins are also named jackass penguins and black-footed penguins, because of their call, which sounds like a neighing donkey, and the color of their legs.  This penguin only breeds in Africa. 

Why they're in trouble: lack of breeding grounds, oil spills and lack of food due to overfishing are a major threat to sea birds.

6. Steller Sea Lion (Eumetopiasjubatus).

Obviously the largest member of the Otariid family and the fourth largest of all seal animals, this eared seal may be found in the cold coastal waters of the North Pacific. Also known as the northeastern sea lion, the creature is called after Georg Wilhelm Steller, a naturalist who first found it in 1741. The risk factor of predation by Killer whales and fishing and mining by native Alaskans and Canadians for meat, oil, hides and other by-products makes marine life vulnerable to threat. According to estimates, its population has decreased by more than 60% due to both natural and human threats since the 1960s. Nevertheless, the East Steller Sea Lion has been omitted from the United States. Endangered animal List in 2013, following an increase in population.

7. Gray whale.

Distinctive among whales for their dorsal humps, these 50-foot whales are also noteworthy for their moans, groanings, knocks and other unique vocalizations. While the gray whales near Baja California are thought to be friendly, the species is known all over the world for the ferocity with which mothers defend their calf muscles.

8. Humphead Wrasse.  

It is also recognized as the Napolean fish, the Humphead Wrasse takes its name from an obvious anatomical feature. This is one of the biggest coral reefs and can be discovered on reefs throughout most of the Pacific Islands and parts of the Indian Ocean. Oh, and it's hermaphroditic, changing from one gender to another in the course of its growth and development.

9. Manatees.

Similar to land mammals as any sea creature, the manatee is a gentle giant vegetarian. The largest manatee population on the planet is in Florida, although there are fewer than 3,000 Manatees in the world.

10. Chinook Salmon.

Salmon, the world's most popular seafood and sport fish, is in jeopardy. Wild salmon sales support many populations around the world, but they need clean rivers and oceans to survive.

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