I’ve found conflicting information about most of these animals, and I’m not sure which of them have the fewest numbers. I guess once they are endangered they all become equal in a way, they are all equally at risk of becoming extinct.
Please Don’t Go…
Each one of these animals is such a beautiful specimen of the four legged predator, it would be a shame to see any of them disappear.
So this post is dedicated to some amazing animals and the photographers who have captured them beautifully.
Sort of the leopards of the dog world, the African Wild Dogs have an unmistakable coat of white, black and tan. Like fingerprints, no two coats are the same, but families have recognizably similar patterning.
These animals are about the same size as the domestic dog, but that’s where the similarity ends. The African Wild Dogs are extreme and fearless predators for their size.
Darwin’s fox is one of the smallest fox species in the world and was discovered by, you guessed it, Charles Darwin in 1834. This animal is only found in a small range in southern Chile and because of their remote location their numbers are very low.
Believe it or not, local wild (and even domestic) dogs pose the largest threat to the tiny Darwin’s Fox.
A strange looking little character the Dole lives in southern Asia in highly social packs. There is a great deal of interaction between members of the pack and there is a clear hierarchal system among them.
Human population explosions have played a large part in their decline, especially when the humans consider them a threat to livestock.
The Ethiopian wolf is the only wolf species native to Sub-Saharan Africa. The main threat to this breed is their willingness to interbreed with domestic dogs. This pollutes their bloodlines by creating wild hybrids that will further hybridize among them.
Due to their isolation they are also more susceptible to canine diseases brought into their territory by domestic dogs.
One of the smallest members of the dog family, the island fox is about the size of a cat and can only be found on six of eight islands off the coast of California. Four of the six subspecies are endangered; the San Miguel, Santa Rose, Santa Cruz and Santa Calalina Island foxes.
Surprisingly enough, the culprit is the golden eagle. Well, we killed off the bald eagles (who didn’t have a taste for fox) that once lived on these islands by poisoning their fish. With the bald eagle out of the picture, the golden eagle (who loves fox) moved in for lunch.
The maned wolf is the largest canid in South America and unlike most members of dog, wolf or fox families they live a solitary life. Agribusiness has removed a large chunk of their habitat and it has had a devastating effect on the breed.
Now the largest population lives behind bars in an attempt to troubleshoot their poor breeding practices and increase their numbers.
Originally found throughout most of northern Mexico and southern US these wolfs are the smallest subspecies of the mighty grey wolf.
Now they exist solely in sanctuaries & breeding programs designed to grow their numbers (numbers that were less than 100 at the end of 2008).
Given the name swift fox because of their swift nature, they are almost exclusively nocturnal and spend more time underground in their dens than any other canid. Very social animals, they are also romantics and keep one partner for life.
Agribusiness is a threat to this breed, their habitat is the rich grasslands that are ideal for agriculture conversion. Another threat on a local level are federal poisoning programs to reduce the populations of local predator and prey populations.
The red wolf doesn’t share genetics with the grey wolf (which is the father of most wolf species) and it has been speculated that they come from a natural hybridization of the grey and coyotes.
This breed used to roam most of the southwest of the US but by 1980 they were extinct in the wild. Breeding programs have upped their numbers slowly year by year.
The largest subspecies of the tiny kit fox, these animals are one of the most endangered species in California. They are threatened mainly by the explosion of growth and development in their natural habitat.
They have been on the endangered species list since 1967.
Predator Becomes Prey
In many of these cases our predatory instincts far outweigh those of the canidae family and we are the main reason for their demise. These animals are perfect predators and we’ve managed to out-predator each and every one.
I learned a lot of this doing my research for Caninest, if this interests you why not check out some of the basics?
Meet The Canidae Family – Foxes & Basal
Meet The Canidae Family – True Dogs
Types of Wolf