Species Focus

From the iconic to the obscure our planet is rich with awe-spiring species, each beautiful in its own unique way, each playing a vital role in its ecosystem. Explore, learn about and celebrate some of the magical wild animals from the 1 trillion species that inhabit earth through the exquisite drawings created by children for Where Did All the Animals Go? project in our Species Focus gallery, curated by Jane.

Each drawing is accompanied with the species scientific name, its conservation status and its population. For more in depth study links to the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) Red List's species specific pages are also provided. Below is a summary of the IUCN Red List categories.


Lagothrix lagothricha ssp. cana 

Conservation status: ENDANGERED
Population: Decreasing
Artist: Bailey S. Year 5, Bexhill Academy, Sunderland 
Project: Where Did All the Animals Go? 2021


Inhabiting the cloud forests of Bolivia, Brazil and Peru, where ferns and orchids grow, this primate species is named after its exceptionally woolly coat. 

The IUCN Red List reports "a population reduction of 50% or more over a period of 45 years is suspected. Geoffroy's woolly monkey's can live up to 15 years and spend much of their time in the tree tops searching for food.


Habitat loss and hunting for the pet trade, where infants are prized as pets are the main threats to this species.




Many people, including conservationists, remain unaware that the world’s tallest animal is experiencing a silent slide towards extinction

Giraffe numbers plummeted by a staggering 40% in the last three decades, and less than 100,000 remain today. There are nine subspecies of giraffe. Three subspecies are Critically Endangered or Endangered (IUCN Red List). Those subspecies in East, Central, and West Africa are faring particularly poorly: the Kordofan and Nubian giraffes, with respectively 2,000 and 2,645 individuals remaining, are now just one stage from extinct in the wild. There is reason for hope. In the past few decades, the Giraffe Conservation Foundation pulled the West African giraffe back from the brink of extinction.


Habitat loss and fragmentation due to human population growth are the main threats to giraffes in the wild, although civil conflict, hunting for their meat, pelt and tails, and environmental conditions like severe drought can also pose risks. Giraffes are also exploited in zoos and circuses. Wild giraffes are specialised herbivores, roaming over large expanses, so being confined in small enclosures can lead to extreme frustration and boredom. Captive giraffes often exhibit abnormal behaviours such as repeatedly twisting their necks or licking the bars of their cage. Information credit: Born Free Foundation


Canis rufus

Conservation status: CRITICALLY ENDANGERED
Population: 9
Artist: Finlay, St Mary Magdalen's RCVA Primary, Seaham, UK
Project: Where Did All the Animals Go? 2021


The red wolf is one of the world's rarest canids with less than 30 left in the wild

Red wolves are smaller than their relative, the grey wolf and have longer legs and shorter fur. Their coat is a tawny red with grey and black touches. Males are typically larger than females. Red wolves formerly ranged throughout the southeastern USA, from the Atlantic and Gulf Coasts, north to the Ohio River Valley and central Pennsylvania, and west to central Texas and southeastern Missouri. Following a massive decline during the 20th Century, the species was declared extinct in the wild in 1980 after the last 17 wild red wolves were taken into captivity to begin a captive breeding program. A highly successful recovery programme reintroduced the red wolf to a remote, five-county area of northeastern North Carolina, As of 2003, the free-ranging red wolf population numbered around 100 individuals in 20 family groups. However, the population has dwindled to just 24 individuals.


Red wolves suffered as a result of persecution and habitat loss as mature woodlands were cleared to make way for agriculture. Red wolves were extensively trapped and shot.  Hunting is now the biggest threat to the last remaining 24 wild red wolves alongside hybridisation. The Wolf Conservation Center, New York, works tirelessly to conserve red and Mexican grey wolves: www.nywolf.org Information credit: Arkive