Endangered Species - A Handmade Tribute

Learning about the magnificent animal kingdom is a magical aspect of childhood. A love of animals has been passed down the generations in my family, and animal welfare is dear to my heart. The sad truth is that many of these beautiful animals are now on the endangered species list. Today I ask you to spare a moment to appreciate their beauty + reflect on the importance of conservation.

Polar Bear and Giant Panda Plush Toys

Polar bears are found throughout the circumpolar Arctic on pack ice, along or near coasts, and on islands. They are currently not on the endangered species list but face an uncertain future if global warming trends continue unabated. The cool dude in the pink scarf is Rocco, a Plush Polar Bear by Strawberry Kitten.

The giant panda is native to Southwest China. It is the rarest member of the bear family and among the world’s most threatened animals. Great strides have been made in recent years to conserve the giant pandas, however, habitat loss continues to occur outside of protected areas and poaching remains an ever-present threat. The cool dude in the blue scarf is a Panda Bear by Knitting Dreams.

Elephant and Whale Plush Toys

African elephants once numbered in the millions across Africa, but by the mid-1980s their populations had been devastated by poaching. Programs are now in place to curb these atrocities, but some populations remain in danger due to poaching, habitat loss and conflict with humans. This Baby Elephant Plushie is by Kellie Noelle Designs.

Seven out of the 13 great whale species are still endangered or vulnerable, even after decades of protection. Threats include collisions with ships and entanglement in fishing gear, illegal commercial whaling, toxic contamination, and the effects of climate change and habitat degradation. Ishmael’s Whale {after the narrator of the classic novel Moby Dick} is by Flying Star Toys.

Orangutan and Marine Turle Plush Toys

The Sumatran orangutan is the most endangered of the two orangutan species {the other being the Bornean Orangutan}. Found only in the northern and western provinces of Sumatra, Indonesia, the species is fast losing its natural habitat to agriculture and human settlements. This happy fellow is a Needle Felted Orangutan Ball by Asher Jasper.

Six of the seven species of marine turtles are listed as Endangered or Critically Endangered. Programs are now in place that focus on reducing the degradation of critical marine turtle habitats; as well as unsustainable use and illegal trade in marine turtles and turtle products. This is Rocky The Turtle by Riyah-Li Designs.

The Mountain Gorilla is native to Central Africa; they are threatened by poaching, loss of habitat, and disease. Conservation efforts have led to an increase in the Virunga population by 14% in the last 12 years, and the Bwindi population by 12% over the past decade. Despite this success, the mountain gorilla remains threatened. This masked crusader is a Banksy print by Visual Creatures.

The six remaining subspecies of Tiger; Amur, Bengal, Indochinese, Malayan, South China, and Sumatran live only in Asia, and all are threatened by poaching and habitat loss. It is estimated that there are only around 200 of the white Bengal tigers left, mostly living in captivity. This White Tiger is made from Wool Felt by Nonesuch Garden.

Lion and Rhinoceros Handmade Soft Toys

Lions are the largest member of the cat family and the largest of all the African carnivores. They are facing threat from population growth and agricultural expansion resulting in loss of natural habitat, as well as hunting, poisoning and poaching by livestock ranchers. This brave crocheted lion is by Sofia-Sobeide.

Rhinos once roamed throughout the African savannas and the tropical forests of Asia. Today however, very few rhinos survive outside national parks and reserves. Conservation efforts focus on strengthening protected areas in Africa and Asia, lobbying to halt the illegal timber trade, and stamping out the illegal trade in horn. This big strong Rhino is by bubyNoa.

If you’re interested in getting involved in some conservation activities, World Wildlife Fund is a great place to start.

The endangered species facts in this post are thanks to the World Wildlife Fund and Defenders of Wildlife websites.

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