IUCN adds more than 7,000 to its Red List

International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has added more than 7,000 animals, fish and plants to its endangered Red List. IUCN’s Red List of Threatened Species shows that more and more species assessed are being threatened with extinction. It also warned against mankind’s destruction of nature that is driving species to brink of extinction at an unprecedented rate.

Key Highlights of update to IUCN Red  List

IUCN has now assessed over 1,05,000 species worldwide, around 28,000 of which risk extinction. Therefore, highlighting that nature is declining at rates unprecedented in human history.

It shows that every 5th species is threatened with extinction

While each group of organisms face specific threats, human behaviour which includes overfishing and deforestation, was biggest driver of plunging/rapidly declining populations of species.

Most Imperilled Marine Families on Earth: includes Wedgefishes and giant guitarfishes, which are known collectively as Rhino Rays due to their elongated snouts.

False Shark Ray is on brink of extinction after overfishing in waters off of Mauritania, a country in Northwest Africa saw its population collapse by 80% in last 45 years.

It brings out an alarming rate of decline of freshwater and deep sea species such as over 50% of Japan’s endemic freshwater fishes are under extinction.

Concern: More than 500 deep-sea bony fish and molluscs have been added to list for 1st time. This poses something of a conservation conundrum as space these species inhabit is 1,000 metres beneath surface that is often beyond national boundaries.

7 Primate species are closer to extinction on new Red list. It includes Roloway Monkey of Cote d’Ivoire and Ghana, with fewer than 2,000 individuals left in wild.

Main Drivers: of this decline are loss of free flowing rivers and severe habitat loss due to increasing agricultural and urban pollution.

Way Ahead

It would be more beneficial that human beings wake up to the fact that conserving nature’s diversity is in our interest.

According to global Strategic Plan for Biodiversity (2011-2020)’s Target 12, the extinction of known threatened species has to be prevented by 2020 and target also includes an improvement in the conservation status of species.

About International Union for Conservation of Nature

It is an international organization founded by Julian Huxley on 5 October 1948 in Fontainebleau, France.

It works in field of nature conservation and sustainable use of natural resources which involves data gathering, education, field projects, research and analysis, and advocacy.

Headquarters: Gland, Switzerland

Members: 1300

IUCN Red List of Threatened Species

It was founded in 1964.

It is world’s most comprehensive inventory of global conservation status of biological species.

It uses a set of criteria to evaluate extinction risk of thousands of species/subspecies.

Headquarters: United Kingdom (UK)

Parent organization: IUCN

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