The Most Popular Endangered Animal: Highlighting a Prominent Conservation Concern

Choose the endangered animal you think is the most popular!

Author: Gregor Krambs
Updated on Apr 15, 2024 07:03
Step right up and make your voice heard in our thrilling ranking of the "Most Popular Endangered Animal"! At StrawPoll, we host thousands of polls and rankings on an array of captivating topics, and now, we're on a mission to discover the world's favorite endangered species. From majestic tigers to awe-inspiring orangutans, which endangered animal tugs at your heartstrings the most? Cast your vote, or if you feel we've missed a crucial contender, suggest a new option to ensure your beloved creature gets the recognition it deserves. Don't miss out on this unique opportunity to contribute to the global conversation on endangered animals – dive in, and let's raise awareness together! Happy voting!

What Is the Most Popular Endangered Animal?

  1. 1
    Giant Panda
    J. Patrick Fischer · CC BY-SA 3.0
    The Giant Panda is one of the most popular endangered animals in the world due to its unique appearance and cultural significance. It is mostly found in China and faces threats from habitat loss and poaching.
    The Giant Panda, also known as Panda bear, is a popular animal species in Japan. It is a black and white bear native to central China. Known for its unique appearance and playful nature, the Giant Panda is loved by people all around the world.
    • Scientific Name: Ailuropoda melanoleuca
    • Average Lifespan: 20 years in the wild, up to 30 years in captivity
    • Size and Weight: Adults measure around 4 to 6 feet in length and weigh between 220 and 330 pounds
    • Diet: Almost exclusively bamboo, consuming around 20 to 40 pounds daily
    • Habitat: Mountainous regions of southwestern China, mainly within bamboo forests
    Giant Panda in other rankings
  2. 2
    The Polar Bear is another popular endangered animal that lives in the Arctic region. Climate change is a major threat to their survival as it is causing the loss of their sea ice habitat.
    The Polar Bear is a large carnivorous mammal native to the Arctic region. It is considered one of the most perfect predators in its natural habitat due to its adaptability and hunting prowess.
    • Scientific Name: Ursus maritimus
    • Average Weight: 900-1600 lbs (408-725 kg)
    • Average Length: 7.25-8 ft (2.2-2.4 m)
    • Fur Color: White or off-white
    • Habitat: Arctic regions, mainly sea ice
    Polar Bear in other rankings
  3. 3
    The African Elephant is a majestic and iconic species found in various parts of Africa. It is the largest land animal and is known for its impressive size and intelligence. Unfortunately, this magnificent creature is currently endangered due to various threats it faces in its natural habitat.
    • Scientific Name: Loxodonta africana
    • Habitat: Varied habitats including savannas, forests, and grasslands
    • Size: Up to 13 feet (4 meters) tall at the shoulder, weighing up to 6 tons
    • Tusks: Both males and some females have tusks, which can grow up to 10 feet (3 meters) long
    • Diet: Herbivorous, consuming large quantities of grass, leaves, bark, and fruits
  4. 4
    The Blue Whale is the largest animal in the world and is endangered due to commercial whaling, ship strikes, and climate change.
    • Size: Reaches up to 100 feet in length
    • Weight: Can weigh up to 200 tons
    • Habitat: Found in oceans worldwide
    • Diet: Feeds mainly on krill and other small marine organisms
    • Mating: Mates during the winter months
  5. 5
    The Snow Leopard is a beautiful and elusive big cat that lives in the mountains of Central Asia. They are threatened by habitat loss, poaching, and human-wildlife conflict.
    • Scientific Name: Panthera uncia
    • Habitat: Mountains of Central Asia
    • Population: Estimated to be between 4,000 and 7,500
    • Size: Approximately 2 to 2.5 feet at the shoulder and 3.5 to 4.5 feet in length (excluding tail)
    • Weight: Male snow leopards weigh between 77 to 121 pounds, while females weigh between 55 to 99 pounds
  6. 6
    The Vaquita is a small porpoise species that is native to the Gulf of California, Mexico. It is famous for being the most critically endangered marine mammal in the world, primarily due to its accidental entanglement in fishing nets. The Vaquita is known for its small size and distinctive appearance, characterized by its dark grey body, robust build, and dark rings around its eyes and lips. These adorable creatures have a rounded face with a small, slightly upturned mouth, and they have a dorsal fin on their backs. They are usually around 1.4 to 1.5 meters long and weigh between 54 to 55 kilograms. Vaquitas are highly elusive and tend to be solitary animals or found in small groups of 2-3 individuals. They primarily feed on a variety of fish species and swim using rapid and erratic movements. Unfortunately, their population has been rapidly declining in recent years, and it is estimated that fewer than 10 vaquitas remain in existence today.
    • Scientific Name: Phocoena sinus
    • Size: 1.4-1.5 meters in length
    • Weight: 54-55 kilograms
    • Habitat: Gulf of California, Mexico
    • Conservation Status: Critically Endangered
  7. 7
    The Mountain Gorilla is a large primate species that inhabits the dense forests of Central Africa. It is known for its robust build, long arms, and thick black fur, which helps it adapt to the cooler mountainous climate. The Mountain Gorilla is considered critically endangered due to various threats such as habitat loss, poaching, and human-wildlife conflict.
    • Scientific Name: Gorilla beringei beringei
    • Average Lifespan: 35-40 years
    • Size: Adult males: 5.6 - 5.9 feet (1.7 - 1.8 meters) tall Adult females: 4.7 - 5.6 feet (1.4 - 1.7 meters) tall
    • Weight: Adult males: 300 - 430 pounds (135 - 195 kilograms) Adult females: 200 - 275 pounds (90 - 125 kilograms)
    • Habitat: Dense montane and bamboo forests in the Virunga Massif (Uganda, Rwanda, and the Democratic Republic of Congo) and Bwindi Impenetrable National Park in Uganda
  8. 8
    The Leatherback Turtle is a magnificent marine creature known for being the largest sea turtle species. It is classified as an endangered species due to various threats such as habitat loss, pollution, and bycatch in fishing gear. The Leatherback Turtle is an important and fascinating animal that plays a crucial role in maintaining the health of marine ecosystems.
    • Size: The Leatherback Turtle can grow up to 6-7 feet (1.8-2.1 meters) in length and can weigh up to 1,500 pounds (680 kilograms).
    • Shell: Unlike other sea turtles, the Leatherback Turtle has a unique shell which is flexible and leather-like, with a ridged texture.
    • Diet: The primary diet of Leatherback Turtles consists of jellyfish, but they also consume other soft-bodied organisms like salps and sea squirts.
    • Migration: These turtles are known for their long-distance migrations, with some individuals traveling up to thousands of miles between feeding and nesting grounds.
    • Nesting: Female Leatherback Turtles return to the same beach where they hatched to lay their eggs. They dig large nests in the sand and can lay around 80-100 eggs per clutch.
  9. 9
    The Amur Leopard is a critically endangered big cat that lives in the forests of Russia and China. They are threatened by habitat loss, poaching, and human-wildlife conflict.
    • Scientific Name: Panthera pardus orientalis
    • Habitat: Forests of Russia and China
    • Conservation Status: Critically Endangered
    • Size: Adults can reach up to 4.5 to 6.2 feet (1.3 to 1.9 meters) in length
    • Weight: Males weigh between 70 to 105 pounds (32 to 48 kilograms), while females weigh 55 to 95 pounds (25 to 43 kilograms)
  10. 10
    The Orangutan is a critically endangered great ape that lives in the forests of Borneo and Sumatra. They are threatened by habitat loss due to deforestation and palm oil plantations.
    • Scientific Name: Pongo
    • Conservation Status: Critically Endangered
    • Natural Habitat: Forests of Borneo and Sumatra
    • Physical Appearance: Reddish-brown hair, long arms, and a distinctive face
    • Size: Males: 1.2 to 1.8 meters tall, Females: 1 to 1.2 meters tall

Missing your favorite endangered animal?


Ranking factors for popular endangered animal

  1. Public awareness and interest
    The level of public awareness and interest in the species plays a significant role in its popularity. This can be measured through factors like media coverage, social media presence, and public support for conservation efforts.
  2. Conservation status
    The conservation status of the species must be considered, as it indicates the level of endangerment the animal faces. The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List is a reliable source for this information.
  3. Charismatic appeal
    The physical appearance and behavior of the animal play a role in its popularity. Animals with charismatic features such as large eyes, fur, or unusual coloration, or those that display intriguing behavior, tend to capture people's attention more easily.
  4. Symbolic value
    Some endangered species may be culturally or historically significant, which can contribute to their popularity. For example, the bald eagle is a symbol of the United States and has widespread recognition and support for its conservation.
  5. Geographical distribution
    The range of the species should be taken into account, as animals that occur in multiple countries or regions might have a more extensive following than those with a restricted distribution.
  6. Ecological importance
    The role the species plays in its ecosystem contributes to its popularity. Keystone species or species involved in crucial ecological processes tend to garner more support for their conservation.
  7. Human impact
    The extent to which human activities have contributed to the species' endangerment, such as habitat loss, poaching, or environmental pollution, can influence how much sympathy and support the species receives.
  8. Conservation efforts
    The success and visibility of ongoing conservation efforts for the species can impact its popularity. Species that receive significant funds, have dedicated conservation programs, or show signs of recovery may generate more public interest and support.
  9. Emotional appeal
    The emotional connection people feel toward a particular animal can greatly influence its popularity. Animals that are used as mascots or are featured in movies, books, or other media may have a stronger emotional appeal.
  10. Educational value
    The educational opportunities that the species can provide play a role in its popularity. Species that can serve as flagship species or whose conservation story can teach valuable lessons about ecology, human-wildlife coexistence, or the importance of habitat protection may be more popular.

About this ranking

This is a community-based ranking of the most popular endangered animal. We do our best to provide fair voting, but it is not intended to be exhaustive. So if you notice something or endangered animal is missing, feel free to help improve the ranking!


  • 173 votes
  • 10 ranked items

Voting Rules

A participant may cast an up or down vote for each endangered animal once every 24 hours. The rank of each endangered animal is then calculated from the weighted sum of all up and down votes.

More information on most popular endangered animal

Background: Endangered animals are those that are at risk of becoming extinct due to various factors such as habitat loss, climate change, and human activities. There are currently over 27,000 species listed as endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). These species include mammals, birds, reptiles, fish, and plants. The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) estimates that around 10,000 species go extinct every year. The most popular endangered animals are those that are well-known and have captured the public's attention, such as the giant panda, the African elephant, and the white rhinoceros. However, there are many other lesser-known species that are equally important and in need of conservation efforts. Through polls and rankings, StrawPoll aims to raise awareness of endangered animals and encourage people to take action to protect them.

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