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17 Most Endangered Animals of Europe

Did you know that endangered animals are living in Europe right now? Many of them are at risk of becoming extinct if we don’t take action soon. Here are the endangered animals of Europe that you need to know.

Let’s take a closer look at some of these animals and learn what we can do to help preserve them for future generations.

Most Endangered Animals of Europe

1. Eurasian Brown Bear 

Face of a Brown Bear

Scientific name: Ursus arctos arctos

The Eurasian Brown Bear is a subspecies of the brown bear in Europe and Asia. Eurasian Brown Bears are larger than their North American counterparts, with males averaging around 3 meters in length and females around 2 meters. The number of wild bears in Central Europe is small and endangered in France.

They have a coat of shaggy, brown fur that helps to keep them warm in their cold, mountainous habitat. Eurasian Brown Bears are omnivorous, and their diet consists of both plants and animals. In the summer months, they eat berries, nuts, and grasses.

They supplement their diet with small mammals such as mice and voles in the winter.

Eurasian Brown Bears are solitary creatures and only come together during the breeding season. Cubs are born blind and helpless and stay with their mother for up to two years before striking out on their own. The Eurasian Brown Bear is a threatened species due to habitat loss and hunting.

Several things can be done to help protect these animals, including creating protected areas where they can live and grow, working with local communities to raise awareness about the importance of bears, and collaborating with other organizations to help support the conservation of bears.

See Related: Fun Bear Facts You Didn’t Know

2. Pine Marten

Pine Marten in Captivity
image by VSmithUK is marked with CC BY 2.0.

Scientific name: Martes martes

Pine Marten is a small, endangered species of marten found in Europe, also known as “sweet marten.” These animals are solitary and territorial and live in forests and other wooded areas. Pine Martens feed on small mammals, birds, insects, and fruit. They are also known to eat the eggs of birds.

Pine Martens are considered endangered due to habitat destruction and persecution. They are also at risk from climate change and forest fragmentation.

IUCN assesses the condition of the species using the IUCN Red List Categories and Criteria, which are the most accepted system for measuring extinction risk globally that point out that European Pine Marten is endangered. There are an estimated 5,000 to 15,000 individuals left in the wild.

There are several conservation efforts underway to help protect Pine Martens. These include habitat protection and restoration, invasive alien species, captive breeding, and release programs, and education campaigns to raise awareness about this endangered species.

3. Iberian Lynx

Adult Iberian Lynx

Scientific name: Lynx pardinus

The Iberian Lynx is a wild cat native to Southwestern Europe’s the Iberian Peninsula. It is the most endangered cat species globally, with only around 400 individuals left in the wild.

The Iberian Lynx preys on rabbits and is endangered due to hunting and habitat destruction. The Iberian Lynx is shy and solitary, living in forests and scrublands. It is threatened by poaching and habitat destruction due to deforestation and urbanization.

It was once common throughout Spain and Portugal, but it only exists in small pockets of its former range today. Conservation efforts are underway to save the animal from extinction, but time is running out for this beautiful animal.

One such effort is establishing a captive breeding program, which has been successful in increasing the population of Iberian Lynx. Other conservation efforts include habitat restoration and protection and public education and awareness programs.

See Related: Five-Letter Animals You Need to Know

4. European Bison

Big European Bison

Scientific name: Bison bonasus

The European Bison is a large herbivore once found throughout Europe and parts of Asia. However, its population has declined due to hunting and habitat destruction. Today, there are only around 2,500 European bison remaining in the wild, making it an endangered European species of Bison.

The European Bison is the largest land animal in Europe, weighing up to a ton. It is a shy and peaceful creature that lives in forested areas. The Bison’s diet consists of grasses and herbs.

The main threat to the European Bison is habitat destruction. As humans have developed more land for agriculture and urbanization, the Bison’s natural habitat has shrunk.

This has made it difficult for the Bison to find sufficient food and shelter. Additionally, hunting has also contributed to the decline of the European bison population.

There are several conservation efforts underway to protect the European Bison. One such initiative is the reintroduction of Bison into their natural habitat.

It is being done by planting trees and restoring forested areas. Additionally, hunting the Bison is regulated to prevent further population decline.

The European Bison is a vital part of the continent’s ecosystem, and we must do everything we can to protect this endangered species.

5. European Mink

European Mink
image by zoofanatic is marked with CC BY 2.0.

Scientific name: Mustela lutreola

The European Mink is a species of mink found in Europe, in France, the Czech Republic, Finland, and the Russian Federation.

It is endangered, with only around 3,000 individuals left in the wild. The European Mink is endangered due to habitat loss and hunting. European Mink are nocturnal animals that live in burrows near water.

They feed on fish, frogs, and small mammals. European Mink are solitary animals, only coming together to mate. Females give birth to 2 to 6 young at a time. These species once had an extensive range, stretching from Spain to Russia.

However, their numbers have declined over the last century due to habitat loss and hunting. European Mink is now only found in Spain, France, Belgium, and parts of Russia. European Minks are protected by law in some countries, but more needs to be done to save this species from extinction.

See Related: Endangered Species in California You Need to Know

6. Saiga Antelope

Small Saiga Antelope

Scientific name: Saiga tatarica

The Saiga Antelope, an endangered species in Europe, is a unique creature that has been around for millions of years. Unfortunately, their numbers have dwindled in recent years due to poaching and habitat loss, and they are now considered critically endangered.

These antelopes once roamed the grasslands of Russia and central Asia, but their range has now been reduced to a few small pockets in Kazakhstan. There are efforts underway to protect the remaining Saiga Antelopes and help them rebound, but it will be challenging given the challenges they face.

Efforts are underway to conserve this unique species, including establishing protected areas and working with local communities to promote sustainable hunting practices.

7. Common European Viper

Scientific name: Vipera berus

The Common European Viper is a species of one of the venomous snakes found in parts of Europe.

This snake is endangered due to habitat loss and persecution by humans. The Common European Viper can grow up to two meters long and has a wide range of colors, including black, green, brown, and gray.

This snake is shy and avoids contact with humans, but it can be dangerous if provoked. The venom of the Common European Viper can cause pain, swelling, nausea, and even death. If you see this snake in the wild, it is best to leave it alone.

These snake species are important to the ecosystem because it feeds on small rodents, which helps to keep their populations in check. This snake also serves as an important food source for larger predators, such as foxes and birds of prey.

Conservationists are working hard to protect the viper’s habitat. Also, working on education and awareness programs to help reduce poaching.

One important step in protecting the viper is understanding its ecology and behavior. Such information can help guide conservation efforts and help people learn to appreciate this endangered species.

See Related: How Do Animals Adapt to Their Environment?

8. European Pond Turtle

Adult European Pond Turtle
image by katunchik is marked with CC BY-SA 2.0.

Scientific name: Emys orbicularis

The European Pond Turtle is a shy creature rarely seen by humans. This turtle is found in ponds and lakes across Europe. The turtle can grow up to 30 centimeters long and has a dark-colored shell.

It is endangered due to habitat loss, pollution, and hunting. If you see one in the wild, please do not disturb it. European Pond Turtles are shy creatures. But, if you are lucky enough to see one, it would be best not to disturb it.

These marine species are found in many ponds and lakes throughout many European countries, but their numbers are dwindling. One of the main reasons for this is habitat destruction; as development destroys natural areas, these turtles have nowhere to live.

Pollution is also taking its toll on European Pond Turtles. The water they live in becomes dirty and full of toxins, making them very sick.

And finally, some people still hunt European Pond Turtles for their meat or shells even though it is now illegal.

We must all do our part to protect this endangered species before it is too late. European Pond Turtles play an important role in the ecosystem, and we must work together to ensure their survival.

9. Bavarian Pine Vole

Scientific name: Microtus bavaricus

The Bavarian Pine Vole is an endangered rodent found only in the alpine region of southern Germany.

This little vole has a thick reddish-brown fur and a long tail. It feeds on the needles and bark of pine trees and can live in either open areas or among the branches of trees. The Bavarian Pine Vole faces many threats, including habitat loss, predation by other animals, and disease.

There are thought to be only a few hundred individuals remaining, and without urgent conservation efforts, this charming little creature could soon disappear from the landscape altogether.

These voles are threatened by habitat destruction and fragmentation and introduced predators such as the red fox. Conservation efforts are ongoing to protect this species and its habitat.

See Related: Animals That Have Become Extinct in the Last 100 Years

10. North Atlantic Right Whale

North Atlantic Right Whale Sculpture
image by is Ryan Somma marked with CC BY-SA 2.0

Scientific name: Eubalaena glacialis

The North Atlantic Right Whale is one of the most endangered animals in Europe. These whales can be found in the North Atlantic Ocean and live near coastal areas. They are black with a white patch on their belly. Right whales can grow up to 55 feet long and weigh up to 70,000 pounds.

These marine mammals were once abundant in the North Atlantic, but their population has declined in recent years. This decline has several reasons, including habitat destruction, fishing gear entanglements, and ship strikes.

The North Atlantic right whale is currently listed as endangered by the IUCN. There are estimated to be only about 450-500 individuals remaining in the wild. This species needs conservation efforts to prevent its extinction.

Many conservation efforts are underway to help protect the North Atlantic Right Whale. One such effort is the creation of large “whale sanctuaries” where fishing is prohibited. These sanctuaries provide a safe place for the whales to live and breed and help reduce

11. Eurasian Capercaillie

Scientific Name: Tetrao urogallus

Eurasian Capercaillie is a grouse species found in various Asian and European countries. It is considered endangered, with an estimated 6000-7000 Eurasian Capercaillie remaining in the wild.

The main reasons for their decline are habitat loss and hunting. Eurasian Capercaillie inhabits areas of dense forest, where they find food and shelter. However, their habitat is shrinking due to deforestation and other human activity.

This has led to a decline in the Eurasian Capercaillie population.

In addition, the Eurasian Capercaillie is hunted for their meat, which is considered a delicacy in some cultures. As a result of these factors, the Eurasian Capercaillie is at risk of extinction. Conservation efforts are therefore needed to protect this species.

12. Monk Seal

Sleeping Monk Seal
image by rfaulds is marked with CC BY 2.0.

Scientific name: Monachini 

The endangered Monk Seal is found in the Mediterranean sea and Atlantic sea around Europe. These seals have a unique appearance, with a black head and body and a white patch on their chest. They are shy creatures, preferring to stay away from humans.

Believed to be one of the first animals to be domesticated by man, fishermen once used monk seals to help them haul in their nets. However, with modern fishing methods, these seals have become vulnerable to extinction.

There are estimated to be only 600-700 monk seals remaining in the wild today, making them one of the most endangered animals in Europe. Threats to their survival include accidental capture in fishing gear, habitat destruction, and pollution.

Conservation efforts are important to protect endangered animals. There are many ways to help out with the conservation of these animals. You can volunteer your time to help with their rehabilitation, you can donate money to help fund their care, or you can spread awareness about their plight.

See Related: Capsian Seal

13. Eurasian Wolf

Face of a Eurasian Wolf

Scientific name: Canis lupus lupus

You might be asking why Eurasian Wolves are included on this list despite their conservation status being classified as ‘Least Concern.’ These wolf species can be found all over Europe. However, the animal disappeared from the majority of Western European countries.

Only around 1000-2000 wolves remain in Europe, and they are constantly under threat from habitat destruction and poaching.

The biggest threat to the wolf population is hunting and persecution by humans. Wolves are often killed because people see them as a threat to livestock, although most wolf attacks on livestock occur in areas where there is no wolf predation.

The Eurasian Wolf is an important part of European ecosystems, and their loss would be a great biodiversity loss.

14. Devil Fish

Devil Fish Ray
image by krokodiver is marked with CC BY 2.0.

Scientific name: Manta birostris

The Devil Fish, also known as the Monkfish, is one of the endangered marine fishes that can be found in the waters of Europe. This fish is characterized by its large flathead, and some people say it resembles a devil.

The Devil Fish is important and is used in many dishes. However, it is also a vulnerable species and is at risk of becoming extinct. There are several reasons for this, including overfishing and pollution.

Overfishing means that too many Devil Fish are being caught, and pollution can damage their habitat and make it difficult to find food.

Devil Fish are also sometimes seen as bycatch, which means they are accidentally caught when fishermen try to catch other fish. All of these factors make the Devil Fish one of the most endangered fish in the world.

See Related: What Animals Live In the Deepest Part of the Ocean?

15. Northern Bald Ibis

Northern Bald Ibis on a Tree

Scientific name: Geronticus eremita

The Northern Bald Ibis is a critically endangered bird native to many countries in Europe. There are estimated to be only 800-1000 individuals remaining in the wild, and the population continues to decline. The primary threats to the Northern Bald Ibis are habitat loss and hunting.

In an effort to save this endangered species, several conservation organizations have been working to create protected areas for the birds. Also, raising awareness about the importance of conservation, promoting education, and research initiatives.

One such organization is BirdLife International, working with local partners in Morocco to protect key breeding sites and encourage sustainable tourism practices.

Other organizations working to conserve the Northern Bald Ibis include the Society for the Protection of Nature in Lebanon, the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, and the European Union.

The Northern Bald Ibis is one of many endangered animals that call Europe home. Other endangered species include the Iberian Lynx, the European Bison, and the Mediterranean Monk Seal.

With the help of dedicated conservationists, these endangered animals will be saved from extinction and will continue to thrive in their natural habitats.

16. Freshwater Molluscs

Europe is home to a diverse range of freshwater molluscs, including endangered species such as the endangered European freshwater mussel.

This species is listed as endangered on the IUCN Red List, and it is estimated that fewer than 10,000 individuals remain in the wild. The main threats to this species include habitat loss and degradation, water pollution, and invasive species.

Several things can be done to help protect European freshwater mussels and other endangered molluscs. One crucial step is to reduce or eliminate the use of harmful pesticides and other pollutants in our waterways.

See Related: World’s Most Boring Animals

17. Blue Chaffinch

Adult Blue Chaffinch
image by Paul and Jill is marked with CC BY 2.0.

The endangered Blue Chaffinch is a small songbird found in the Canary Islands. They get their name from their blue head and chest feathers.

These birds are very rare, and there are only about 10,000 left in the wild. Blue Chaffinches are threatened by habitat loss, climate change, and predators.

The Blue Chaffinch conservation effort is important because this endangered bird is native to Europe. Conservationists are working to protect the habitat of the Blue Chaffinch and create awareness about the bird’s plight. 

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