The more blurry the image, the closer the animal is to extinction.
Over the last two centuries, humanity has probably caused the destruction of more animal species than in the two millennia prior to it. Of course, there's no need to leave such things up to speculation as we can find out accurate data of the critical condition of several animals ourselves. For instance, there are only 60 Amur leopards left in the wild, and that is a shocking statistic, to say the least, reports My Modern Met.
This is what Imgur user JJSmooth44 had in mind when he wanted to visualize the number of animals that are endangered onto a photo series, Bored Panda reports. He did his research and carefully arranged each endangered species by a pixel representation. For each photo, there are as many animals as there are pixels in the image. “The more pixelated the image,” the artist explains, “the closer it is to extinction.”
According to the report, the Imgur user was first inspired by a similar series made for World Wildlife Fund back in 2008 and was called WWF Japan - Population by pixel. The people behind the project were Creative directors Nami Hoshino, Yoshiyuki Mikami, and designer Kazuhiro Mochizuki (of Hakuhodo C&D / Tokyo agency). JJSmooth44 writes: “I did it as a programming challenge,” regarding his version which is just as heartbreaking.
As we scroll through each picture, we were appalled to find that so many were blurry, meaning that these species are close to extinction. Each animal is symbolized as a colored square and some of the pictures don't even have enough pixels to make a clear image. Now with only 600-650 Indochinese tigers left in the wild, the species is represented as an indistinct grid of orange and brown pixels. One of the clearer images includes the Asian elephant, which has an estimated population of 40,000-50,000. Although the Asian elephant seems to be doing better than the other animals in the series, the species is believed to have declined by at least 50% over the last three generations.
You can view the list of endangered and vulnerable species at World Wildlife's official website. The conservation status of a species indicates the likelihood that it will become extinct. Many factors are considered when assessing the status of a species; e.g., such statistics as the number remaining, the overall increase or decrease in the population over time, breeding success rates, or known threats. Over 50% of the world's species are estimated to be at risk of extinction.