ENDEMIC WILDLIFE AROUND THE WORLD
Cover photo credit: Adhi Rachdian/CC
Nature is amazing, but as typical human nature dictates, we often take for granted the majestic "housemates" Mother Earth gave us. While we can find our fellow homosapiens across the world, some wildlife are found in far fewer numbers and exclusively in certain regions where optimal living conditions can be met. Let's take a look at some of these friends, shall we?
Giant Panda (China)
Giant pandas are probably the poster boys/girls of endemic animals and can only be found in the wild in China, where they are considered a national treasure. A successful global conservation program involving zoos from around the world has seen their numbers go up in recent years, and we're all happy to see more of these fuzzballs.
Pygmy Three-Toed Sloth (Panama)
Photo credit: Shutterstock
This cute happy-looking sloth can only be found on Isla Escudo de Veraguas- a small island off the coast of Panama. They got their name from being much smaller than other sloth species and are critically endangered with an estimated less than 100 left in the wild.
Wilson's Bird-of-paradise (Indonesia)
This beautiful bird with an equally elegant name to match it is found on the islands of Waigeo and Batanta off West Papua, Indonesia. Male specimens are colourful feature two eye-catching curved violet tail feathers, and they perform a special mating dance to seduce potential mates!
Platypus (Eastern Australia)
Animal enthusiasts will be familiar with this funny-looking creature. The platypus is one of only five types of egg-laying mammals and stand out with their duck-like bills. They are one of the symbols of Australian wildlife, making the eastern part of the country their home. Look out for these majestic creatures if you head to the Aussie east coast in the future.
Kiwi (New Zealand)
The flightless kiwi is the reason why New Zealanders are sometimes known as Kiwis. To make up for their inability to fly, kiwis have strong legs, which they need to protect themselves from predators. Other distinctive features include hair-like feathers and a noticeable lack of tail.
If you watched the animated film "Madagascar" as a child, you'll remember the character King Julien who loves to dance. Guess what animal King Julien is? Yes, he is a lemur. Due to being isolated for around 88 million years, 90 percent of the flora and fauna found in the island nation of Madagascar cannot be found anywhere else; lemurs are just the most recognisable of the lot.
Komodo Dragon (Indonesia)
Despite its name, the Komodo dragon is not actually a dragon, but it is a highly dangerous species of lizard. They are the largest lizards on Earth and can be found on the Indonesian islands of Komodo, Flores, Rinca, and Gili Motang. These beasts can secrete venom in their mouths to weaken prey in addition to their powerful bites. They have also been known to attack humans; make no mistake, they are on top of the food chains of all four islands