From a Maine man delivering a baby porcupine on the road to Indian villagers pulling up a 400-pound lion that had stumbled down a well, many humans came through for wildlife in 2014. (Bless the Internet for making these heroic actions available for our viewing pleasure.) But besides the awe-inspiring videos also came dire reports about the state of animals.
Bees continued to die by the millions, thanks to decades of pesticide use. The number of poachers targeting giraffes—not just elephants—climbed. The World Wildlife Fund reported in September that the planet has lost 53 percent of its mammals, reptiles, birds, amphibians, and fish since 1970.
What does 2015 have in store? With any luck, better news. After all, if a village can come to the aid of an apex predator, the rest of us can band together to limit the chemical use, habitat loss, global warming, and poaching that endanger many wild populations. The animal kingdom has suffered enough losses, including the following creatures, which disappeared within our lifetime.