Conservation action has brought renewed hope for the Fin Whale and the Mountain Gorilla, according to November’s update of the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species™. The Fin Whale has improved in status from Endangered to Vulnerable following bans on whaling, while the Mountain Gorilla subspecies has moved from Critically Endangered to Endangered thanks to collaborative conservation efforts.
The November IUCN Red List update also reveals that overfishing is causing fish species in parts of the developing world to decline, with 13% of the world’s grouper species and 9% of Lake Malawi fish now threatened with extinction. Overexploitation also threatens the Vene tree (Pterocarpus erinaceus) – an important source of timber – which enters The IUCN Red List as Endangered.
The IUCN Red List now includes 96,951 species of which 26,840 are threatened with extinction.
Inger Andersen, IUCN Director General.
The update to the IUCN red lists included as well a regional assessment for large carnivores in Europe. It provides the latest population numbers, trends, and threat assessments of these species. Overall the assessment results are positive. On a continental scale the status of brown bear, Eurasian lynx, wolf and golden jackal has not worsened and remained Least Concern, while for wolverine it is Vulnerable, still. Unfortunately there are some individual populations of bears (e.g. in the Pyrenees, the Alps and the Apennines) and lynx (e.g. the western Balkans) which are much more endangered. Although challenges remain these are foremost associated with finding pathways to sustainable coexistence, and less with saving these species from regional extinction. The European regional assessments can be found here: Bears, Eurasian lynx, wolves, wolverines and golden jackals.