AboutZoos, Since 2008


IUCN Red List update pre­dicts gloomy future

pub­lished 30 June 2012 | mod­i­fied 05 Decem­ber 2012

The source of our food, med­i­cines and clean water, as well the liveli­hoods of mil­lions of peo­ple may be at risk with the rapid decline of the world’s ani­mal, plant and fungi species. The lat­est update of the IUCN Red List

of Threat­ened Species™, released on June 19, shows that of the 63,837 species assessed, 19,817 are threat­ened with extinc­tion, includ­ing 41% of amphib­ians, 33% of reef build­ing corals, 25% of mam­mals, 13% of birds, and 30% of conifers.

A quar­ter of the world’s inland fish­eries are located on the African con­ti­nent, yet 27% of fresh­wa­ter fish in Africa are threat­ened, includ­ing the cich­lid Ore­ochromis karon­gae, an extremely impor­tant source of food in the Lake Malawi region.

Inva­sive alien species are one of the lead­ing and most rapidly grow­ing threats to food secu­rity, human and ani­mal health and bio­di­ver­sity and a recent analy­sis of IUCN Red List data high­lighted inva­sive alien species as the fifth most severe threat to amphib­ians, and the third most severe threat to birds and mam­mals. Together with cli­mate change, they have become one of the most dif­fi­cult threats to reverse.

Expand­ing both the num­ber and diver­sity of species assessed on the IUCN Red List is imper­a­tive if we are to have a clear under­stand­ing of our impact on the nat­ural world.The lat­est update to the IUCN Red List high­lights the effect we are hav­ing on the world’s bio­di­ver­sity, even those species that so many of the human pop­u­la­tion rely on for food, med­i­cine, and clean water. We need to suc­cess­fully com­mu­ni­cate the plight, sig­nif­i­cance, value and impor­tance of all these species if we are to res­cue them from the brink of extinc­tion. Wild­screen is incred­i­bly proud to be an IUCN Red List part­ner to help with this very impor­tant endeavour
(Richard Edwards, Chief Exec­u­tive of Wild­screen)

In this year’s update of the IUCN Red List 247 species have been added to the threat­ened cat­e­gories, i.e. Vul­ner­a­ble, Endan­gered, and Crit­i­cally Endan­gered. These addi­tions dri­ves the num­ber of threat­ened species on a global level close to 20,000. The IUCN Red List is a crit­i­cal indi­ca­tor of the health of the world’s bio­di­ver­sity, and with that the health of Planet Earth. How­ever until now the Red List has assessed only about 4 per­cent of the world’s known species. Sci­en­tists sim­ply don’t have a clue yet about the sta­tus of the other 96 percent.

For more infor­ma­tion on the recent Red List update read Jeremy Hance’s arti­cle on Mongabay here.

The above news item is reprinted from mate­ri­als avail­able at IUCN Red List, Wild­screen, Arkive and Mongabay. Orig­i­nal text may be edited for con­tent and length.

(Sources: Mongabay, 28.06.2012; Wild­screen, 19.06.2012; IUCN Red List, 19.06.2012)

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