End Lines: Last chance to see

The map Spotted a Big-eared Hopping Mouse recently? What about a Californian Condor? Chances are you haven't. Michael Booth on the world's vanishing species
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Indy Lifestyle Online
Kemp's Ridley Sea Turtle Shrimp-trawling off the coast of north-east Mexico, its only home, has made this the world's most threatened marine turtle. Decimated from 42,000 females to 900 since the war, there is still hope that populations may rise to 10,000 by 2010 thanks to turtle-excluder devices on nets, protected sites and tagging.

Californian Condor Already extinct in the wild by 1987, when 13 of the 89 birds left in captivity were released. Sadly, the Californian Condor appears especially accident-prone: one has died through drinking anti-freeze, three flew into power lines, and another was run down by a car.

Schaus's Swallowtail Butterfly Found in Key Largo, only 15 were spotted in 1982 and most experts think these fussy flutterers are doomed. Maybe the fact that they insist on living only on their host plant, Torchwood, remain in their pupa for up to two years and, once hatched, only live for about a month has something to do with it.

Starlet Sea Anemone This tentacled blob is endangered in England (though there are populations in North America) where it lives in four locations in East Anglia and on the south-west coast. It loves fine soft muds, but pollution is the main threat to its survival. No one has yet figured out exactly what they are for, but still, it's nice to know they're there.

Giant Panda The pin-up of the endangered-species world struggles to breed in its Chinese mountain home. Around 1,200 of these bamboo-eaters survive, the rest were wiped out by poachers (they are the biggest draws at world zoos, and their pelts are used to stuff mattresses), and a loss of habitat. However, bamboo corridors between reserves are designed to increase breeding.

Didiera Trolli Only recently discovered, this tree occurs in only two locations in the north-east of Madagascar. Unfortunately, seed collectors from California and Australia have decimated it.

Mediterranean Monk Seal Media-friendly cuteness has failed to halt the Monk Seal's decline to around 600, living off the coast of North Africa. Tourism and urbanisation of coasts has wrecked its habitat, forcing it into caves where, apparently, it doesn't find the mood conducive to breeding.

Ethiopian Wolf Protection by Ethiopian law looks unlikely to halt the decline of this once-prolific hunter. Only around a thousand remain, agricultural development and environmental disruption having destroyed their habitat. Crossbreeding with domestic dogs is also polluting the gene pool.

Pygmy Hog Sucking Louse Even Carla Lane might balk at championing this blood-sucking ectoparasite, on the brink because its Pygmy Hog host is also endangered. Restricted to Assam, India, it once sucked freely from Europe to the Philippines. With all the best endangered animals already nabbed by major celebrities, perhaps this could be one for Chris Evans's Breakfast Show team?

Big-eared Hopping Mouse This cheeky little fella's probably worm- food already. Known only from two specimens collected in Western Australia in 1850 (one is owned by the British Museum), it is believed to be extinct. If it does survive, it's probably a nocturnal desert-burrower - so the chances of spotting it are nil.

Northern Hairy Nosed Wombat Only 65 are left, in the Epping Forest National Park, in Queensland, Australia. A gentle critter, the wombat mainly eats grass and is in competition with cattle, sheep and rabbits. It's losing.

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