ABC of Endangered Animals

There are so many different posters and books featuring cute animals which can help kids learn the alphabet. It’s always been a topic I’ve liked, but I wanted to do something a little bit different, meaning this poster might not be totally suitable for children. Instead of ordering the animals based on the letter of their common names, all these animals are ordered based on their latin names, meaning it’s a bit more international than what you’d usually find.

Another twist on this topic is that all the animals on the list are endangered, with some of them even extinct in the wild. While we all know about Pandas, Tigers and Gorillas, the idea was to bring forth some of the animals that aren’t mentioned as often. The animals were all found through the UICN’s Red List.

The poster with 26 endangered animals, all ordered by their scientific names, which is also why their names are highlighted in latin.

Latin poster

Media: Digital illustrations painted in Procreate. Design, typography and the mock-ups created in Photoshop.

While the illustrations might appear to appeal to young children, these posters aren’t necessarily the best to help them learn the alphabet, as it is likely to be far too difficult for them to read the latin names, which are likely to be a little bit too difficult to learn to read from the get go. However, it does mean that a poster like this can have a longer life span in a child’s bedroom, as they might grow to have an interest in animals later on, and might even give them an early interest in both zoology and animal conservation.

The poster with the same 26 endangered animals, but with their English names taking priority.

English poster

Media: Digital illustrations painted in Procreate. Design, typography and the mock-ups created in Photoshop.

Despite creating the version that highlights the latin names, it also seemed right to create a version where the English names were more highlighted. Though, it is to be expected that this would potentially be for older kids, as there would be a lot of confusion if they read the letters and think “A” really is for “Red Panda”.

The animal illustrations

A closer look at the animals in the poster. Though please note that the background does not feature in the poster, as it works really well for the individual images, but not so much when there are 26 of them in one place. The videos showing the process behind several of the animals paintings can be found on my YouTube channel.

A red panda painted in a cutesy style with its body turned away from you, but its head turned looking back at you with a smile on its face.

Red Panda

Media: Digital.

While we all have been told that Giant Pandas are endangered, it would probably surprise many to find that at the time of writing that Red Pandas are actually more endangered. A Red Panda was painted in 2021 for a similar project.

A Spoon Billed Sandpiper standing on one leg as it's depicted in a cutesty style with its entire body in profile.

Spoon Billed Sandpiper

Media: Digital.

It should come as no surprise that this Sandpiper was named after its spoonshaped bill, though what might be a surprise is that the species is considered critically endangered due to loss of habitat.

A cutesy Black Rhino painted almost in profile.

Black Rhino

Media: Digital.

While the White Rhino is currently thriving in Africa, the Black Rhino is considered critically endagnered, despite sharing some of the same habitat as the White Rhino.

A cute Sea Otter lying on its back in water, painted in a cute and simplified style.

Sea Otter

Media: Digital.

You’d not think Sea Otters would be considered endangered, but they are, which is mostly due to pollution, especially oil spills, as well as illegal poaching and getting tangled in fishing nets.

A Barreras Fanged Snake coiled up yet looking towards the right hand side of the image.

Barreras Fanged Snake

Media: Digital.

This little snake has only been found in the south-western Dominican Republic, though sadly it is losing some of its habitat due to agricultural development.

A cute and happy African Wild Dog painted standing against a spattered orange background.

African Wild Dog

Media: Digital.

This canine with a multitude of names is the largest canine in Africa, but for the past thirty years they have been considered endangered, despite living in protected reserves.

A happy Chinese Pangolin stands on its hind legs, with its front legs lifted as it looks towards the right.

Chinese Pangolin

Media: Digital.

Pangolins might look like animals dressed up as pine cone, but they are real animals, that sadly are critically endangered due to illegal poaching, which is happening despite conservation efforts.

A bright blue tarantula faces the bottom left of the image as it sits on a grassy-green spattered background.

Peacock Tarantula

Media: Digital.

These colourful spiders are usually found in southern India, though sadly due to both the pet trade and the logging industry they are considered critically endangered.

A very happy ray swims from the top right towards the bottom left of the image.

Lusitanian Cownose Ray

Media: Digital.

We can find the Lusitanian Cownose Ray in the waters along the western coast of Africa and in the Mediterranean. They are critically endangered due to often being caught in nets as bycatch.

An orange and greenish-blue kingfisher sits on a branch, it is painted in a cutesy and simplified style.

Guam Kingfisher

Media: Digital.

This bird used to be found on Guam, but due to the introduction of the brown tree snake they are extinct in the wild. Due to a breeding programme there is a hope of reintroduction into the wild.