The existence of animals all over the world have over the years come under threats as a result of human activities and climate change.
Over time, animals such as the panda and elephants have been widely marked as endangered.
Most of these animals have been marked by the International Union for Conservation of Nature as threatened species on its Red List.
In Ghana, some of the animals which have been tagged as endangered are barely known by people.
Here are a few of such animals:
African White-bellied pangolin:
Pangolins are sometimes known as scaly anteaters. There are various species of this mammal but the most common found in Ghana are the Tree or African white-bellied pangolins, the Giant ground pangolin and the long-tailed or black-bellied pangolin.
Of these, the African white-bellied pangolins are the most endangered in the country. It has its scientific name as Phataginus tricuspis. They are small, with first forelimb claws, larger eyes, irregular arrangement of scales, the length of tail which is prehensile (capable of grasping) and they have hair on the lower sections of forelimbs.
Though these mammals are globally trafficked for their unique scales which are believed to have medicinal properties, they are mostly hunted in Ghana by bush meat eaters.
According to Ghana Rocha, the pangolins have become the most trafficked and illegally hunted mammal in the world because of the high demand for them.
Black-headed Rufous Warbler
This bird is also known as the black-capped rufous warbler. Aside Ghana, the bird is also endangered in neighbouring African countries including Ivory Coast, Guinea, Liberia and Seirra Leone.
They live in dense secondary vegetation bordering small creeks and rivers in various forest types including subtropical or tropical moist lowland forests or swamplands.
The Black-headed Rufous Warbler is declining as a result of habitat loss and lowland commercial logging activities.
This is a large owl with dark eyes and has an indistinct pale cinnamon facial disc and underparts. The mantle and back are rufous (reddish-brown or brownish-red), with a white row of spots on the scapulars.
It lives in subtropical or tropical moist lowland forests, rivers, streams, swamps and marshes. It is threatened by habitat loss.
It usually eats fish including catfish and sometimes freshwater crabs.
Pohle’s Fruit Bat
These bats are also known as ‘tear-drop’ fruit bats because of the tear-like white spots found on both sides of their eyes, nose and on their upper lips.
Their fur is tinted and the wings are dark brown.
They live in lowland forests and feed on fruits and flowers. They are near threatened, are facing very high risk of extinction in the wild and are on the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Red list of Threatened Species.
Photo Credit: (CC BY-NC), Jakob Fahr