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These pixelated images show the importance of wildlife conservation

Can you identify the blurred animal in this image?
Can you identify the blurred animal in this image? Copyright WWF International
Copyright WWF International
By Rosie Frost
Published on Updated
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The number of pixels represents something very important about each animal.


These images might look a little fuzzy but it is for a good reason. Each picture has been pixelated to represent the number of individuals of these species left in the wild.

They were created by conservation charity, WWF to mark World Wildlife Conservation Day. The day was first started in 2012 to draw attention to the global problem of wildlife trafficking.

It is difficult to estimate because dangerous international networks carry out its kind of crime, but experts at TRAFFIC believe that the illegal wildlife trade is worth billions of euros every year.

Stamping out wildlife crime is vitally important as it threatens some of the world's most endangered species.

See if you can identify the animal before sliding to reveal them.


According to WWF, there are only around 3,900 tigers left in the wild. The organisation says that over 95 per cent of the world's tiger population has been lost since the beginning of the 20th century.

They are under threat because their habitats are shrinking as towns, villages and cities get bigger. It means they are more likely to come into contact with people and this leads to conflict.

There have been some successes with tiger conservation over the years. Logging and reduced numbers of prey animals had all but wiped out the Amur or Siberian tiger as the 21st century began. Thanks to efforts to save them and protect their habitat, they have made a spectacular comeback in Russia.

Amur Leopard

The Amur leopard is one of the world's rarest cats. Only around 100 individuals remain in the wild in the Russian Far East. They are threatened by a loss of habitat from forest fires, poaching and road building.

Thanks to efforts to protect their habitat, the population of Amur leopards is now stable and appears to be increasing. They are highly protected in Russia and poachers can be fined up to 1.1m rubles (€12,257) or spend 2 years in prison for killing them. The penalties are even higher for those found to e poaching the leopards as part of an organised group.

Black Rhino

There are two African rhino species and black rhinos are the smallest. Poaching is the biggest threat to these animals and they have to be protected from people looking to take their horns for illegal wildlife trade, Because their horn fetches such a high price on the black market, they have become critically endangered. There are now just over 5,000 individuals left in the wild.

In the early 1990s, there were even fewer black rhinos but numbers have steadily increased over the last 25 years. But as populations increase, habitat loss and where these increasing numbers of rhinos will live has started to become a problem.

Tapanuli Orangutan

The Tapanuli Orangutan is thought to be one of the most endangered great ape species in the world. Fewer than 800 are left in the wild. The biggest threat to this beautiful species comes is undoubtedly human activity. From hunting to illegal wildlife trade, the already dwindling numbers are increasingly at risk.

One of the biggest problems Tapanuli orangutans face is from habitat destruction, specifically from mining projects and a proposed hydroelectric dam in the North Sumatra province of Indonesia. The current population is expected to face an 83 per cent decline over the next 75 years without intervention.

Giant Panda

Giant pandas have been listed as endangered for decades. There are roughly 1,860 of the animals left in the wild and they are somewhat of a success story. In 2016 the giant panda got downlisted from endangered to vulnerable but WWF says there is still work to be done with conservation to protect their vital bamboo habitat.

This world-famous species is categorised as "conservation-reliant", which means in order for giant pandas to continue to survive in the wild, they will need ongoing wildlife management interventions, assisting with habitats and predator control to help shield the population.

Mountain Gorilla

Two isolated populations of mountain gorillas now survive in national parks across Uganda, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. These areas have seen a lot of human violence and the gorillas have suffered because of it too. Just 1,063 individual now remain in the wild.

Climate change is also a problem for the mountain gorilla. Not only are they losing their habitat to agriculture, illegal mining, and deforestation, but as our planet warms they have to move to higher elevations to avoid the heat. Things have been improving for the species however as conservation efforts have allowed their numbers to stabilise. In 2008, IUCN changed their status from critically endangered to endangered because populations of the gorillas have grown.

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