Some animals are rare because they don’t want to be spotted. Others are rare because humans have rendered them that way through poaching, hunting, habitat destruction and other factors. Some of them, like Bornean orangutans, are trying to catch back up, but can’t because they only reproduce every six to eight years!
The Ili pika is hardly ever seen through a combination of both those factors. First, the itsy-bitsy mammal is only 7 to 8 inches long and lives in high elevations of a mountain range in a remote area of China, which not a lot of people frequent. In fact, 2014 was the first time in 20 years that someone was able to capture one on camera! However, the fluffy little guys are also dwindling in numbers thanks to climate change, with fewer than 1,000 left. The Western lowland gorilla is another creature with facing a population problem, in part due to commercial hunting but also because of the Ebola virus in its native Africa.
Some animals are rarely seen because they are masters of disguise, able to camouflage themselves against their surroundings. So creatures like the western fence lizard and the gray tree frog, who blend in with tree bark, often slip right past people who simply don’t know what to look for! Indeed, some of Earth's animals have been seen by only a few human eyes. How much do you know about the rarest creatures on the planet? Take this quiz now!