1. Tiger (Panthera tigris)
William Blake’s “forests of the night,” the stalking grounds of the six subspecies of tiger, are burning bright. Slash-and-burn agriculture, along with logging, and human encroachment, have hugely diminished the habitat available to these felines, which require extensive ranges capable of supporting the large herbivores that constitute the bulk of their diets. Poaching—for trophies and body parts used in Asian “medicine” —is thought to pose the greatest threat to tigers. Probably fewer than 4,000 are left in the wild. In 2014, China explicitly outlawed the consumption of endangered species, including tigers, whose bones, penises, and other organs are superstitiously believed to have magical curative powers.