Aardvarks are one of the most fascinating creatures on our planet with unique physical features, lifestyle, and diet. However, like many other species in this world, aardvarks face a number of threats in the wild, including habitat loss, hunting, and climate change.
Here we will explore the conservation status of aardvarks, including their population size and trends, and discuss the main threats that aardvarks face. If you want to know all about aardvarks’ status and population keep reading!
What is Aardvarks’ Conservation Status?
First things first. What is their official status? Aardvarks are currently classified as a species of “Least Concern” by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). This means that aardvarks are not currently considered to be at immediate risk of extinction.
However, we have to bear in mind that the aardvark’s status was assessed back in 2014, which is quite a while ago.
The reality is that aardvarks have a relatively low profile in the world of conservation, and their status is not as well known as that of other threatened species. As such, there may be a need for increased monitoring and research to better understand the conservation status of aardvarks and the threats facing them.
How Many Aardvarks Are in The World and What is Their Population Trend?
The number of aardvarks in the wild does not seem to be known since there is no number available anywhere, the UICN themselves do not give any number. Estimating the population of aardvarks in the wild can be difficult, as they are nocturnal and elusive creatures.
Aardvarks are found in very varied habitats, from savannas to rainforests, as long as they have access to the termites they eat and proper soil where they can dig their burrows.
Population trends for aardvarks are difficult to discern due to the lack of comprehensive data. Even though they face threats in some areas of their range, there isn’t any particular reason to believe that their population is either declining or increasing. But their population trend is not known for sure.
It is believed that the aardvark population might be at greater risk in Western, Central, and Eastern Africa than in Southern Africa. Habitat loss and fragmentation, as well as hunting and poaching, are believed to be major factors contributing to a potential decline in certain aardvark populations. But again, we lack data to confirm this.
What Are The Main Threats to Aardvarks?
Aardvarks face a range of threats in the wild, including habitat loss, hunting, and climate change. One of the biggest threats to aardvarks is habitat loss. In some parts of Africa, the human population has increased drastically, and natural habitats are destroyed or altered due to human activities such as agriculture, mining, and urbanization. This can make it more difficult for aardvarks to find food and shelter, and can also increase their exposure to predators.
Climate change is probably a concern for aardvarks as well, as changes in temperature and rainfall patterns can impact their habitat and food sources. Aardvarks rely on insects for food, and any changes in termite or ant populations have a direct impact on aardvark populations.
Finally, aardvarks are also at risk from predation from larger carnivores such as lions and hyenas. But of course, this is a natural thing. Aardvarks have adapted to this threat by constructing extensive burrow systems that provide them with shelter and protection from their predators.
To sum up, aardvarks are not endangered and there is little to believe that we should be worried, but we do lack data to give a definitive answer to this question.
Top image: Tim Ellis / Flickr