One day I picked up a pen with the intention of drawing 100 of our most critically endangered animals. The list is not necessarily full of the prettiest or mightiest of creatures, but it is full of the ones that are fighting for survival and should be celebrated and commemorated. I use a combination of thousands of tiny dots and lines with fineliner pens to bring the animals to life on paper.

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Amur Leopard

Named after the Amur river, these big cats have adapted to tthe extreme temperature shifts between 40°C and -30°C. ON the brink of extinction, there are now only around 60 adults left in the wild due to poaching and illegal trade.

Mexican Wolf

Also known as the Lobo, is a subspecies of gray wolf once native to Arizona, New Mexico, Texas and Mexico. It is the most endangered gray wolf in North America, having been extirpated in the wild during the mid-1900s through a combination of hunting, trapping, poisoning and digging pups from dens. After being listed under the Endangered Species Act in 1976, the US and Mexico collaborated to capture all lobos remaining in the wild. This extreme measure prevented the lobos’ total extinction. Today there are approximately 97 of these wolves in the wild.

Galápagos Penguin

The only penguin species found north of the equator. The species is endangered, with an estimated population size of around 1500 individuals (2004) and 1000 breeding pairs. Habitat loss and by-catching are contributing to their decline in numbers.

Okapi

Despite looking like a Zebra, this striped mammal is of the giraffe family. The world population is between 10,000-20,000. Okapi are threatened by deforestation and poachers.

Sumatran Rhino

Also known as the Hairy or Asian two-horned Rhinocerous, this species used to roam freely across the majority of Asia. They are now critically endangered with only 5 substantial populations in the wild: 4 on Sumatra and one on Borneo. Their number is estimated to be fewer than 100. Although efforts have been made to begin captive-breeding programs, Sumatran Rhinoceroses do not thrive outside of their natural eco system.

Actinote Zikani

Only found in Brazil, this butterfly was considered to have disappeared after 1981 but was rediscovered in 1991 in the state of São Paulo. It has since been declared critically endangered and has been added to the WCU’s list of 100 Most Endangered Species.