New Zealand Takahe
In the beginning of the 20th century, the New Zealand takahe was believed to be wholly extinct. They were rediscovered in 1948 by Geoffery Orbell near Lake Te Anau. These flightless birds have a red face and green and blue plumage. In 2008, there were a total of 225 of the birds alive. Inbreeding and poor fertility have made conservation efforts difficult.
The alagoas curassow is a large bird with a black coloring that looks similar to a pheasant. These stunning Brazilian birds have been extinct in the wild since 1984, but there are a few dozen living at zoos.
Seychelles Magpie Robin (pictured top)
These birds from the Seychelles Islands were almost wiped out due to habitat destruction and the introduction of non-native predators to their homes. At one point, there were only 16 of the birds left alive, but conservation efforts have helped rebuild the number so they are now endangered, rather than critically endangered.
This critically endangered bird hails from the Philippines, where it lives in hollowed-out tree trunks. They reproduce slowly, which has contributed to the endangered status. Rainforest deforestation and hunting have made the demise of the species likely. It is estimated there are around 160 rufous-headed hornbills in the wild.
Most indigenous birds in Hawaii have experienced problems in recent years due to invasive plants and animals in the area. Though there were never large numbers of these small, fluffy birds, in recent years, they have become critically endangered and their numbers are estimated to be in the low hundreds.
Throughout the last century the red-headed vulture population has been steadily declining, but the numbers have declined precipitously since 1994. The use of Diclofenac in pesticides has been found to be exceptionally deadly to vultures, and their population has collapsed over 94 percent in the last few years. The species was listed as critically endangered in 2007.
The bois dentelle trees bear beautiful, delicate white hanging blossoms. There are only two of the trees in existence. Both are located in the cloud forest in the island of Mauritius. The forest has become very damaged due to invasive, non-native plants.
Green Pitcher Plant
This Georgia insect eater is technically an herb. It lures insects into its tubular flower and then digests them with digestive enzymes. The carnivorous green pitcher plant is currently facing extinction. Due to land development, the small native habitat of the plant is being threatened.
The snodonia hawkweed is one of the rarest plants on earth. It only grows in seven small patches of the Welsh Valley of Snowdonia. In the 1950s, it was believed that the plant was completely extinct, but it was rediscovered in 2002 in the Cwm Idwal Nature Reserve.
There is only one dendroseris neriifolia left in the wild. This small plant with yellow-white flowers is native to Chile, yet there is one plant left alive on Robinson Crusoe Island. The plant is often referred to as the "world's rarest plant."