On 12th January 2016, the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s (IUCN) updated their Red list of Threatened species.
The news is absolutely shocking. Out of 79,837 assessed species, 23,250 are threatened with extinction, with habitat loss and degradation identified as the main threat to more than 80% of species assessed. This means almost one-third of them are endangered because of our actions.
While most are in danger due to the destruction of habitat, illegal trading and invasive species are also contributing factors. Another emerging threat comes from the bone and body part trade, which is used for traditional medicine.
No new species have yet been declared extinct, however, 14 have been recorded as critically endangered or possibly extinct. Despite all the negativity, the Iberian Lynx was cited as a positive case because due to conservative efforts, the endangered species climbed from 52 in 2002 to 156 ten years later.
It is also important to point out that at least 65% of species would have deteriorated seriously without conservation efforts.
This is a huge wake-up call for all of us, showing our world is very vulnerable and we must do everything to preserve it.
There are ways you can help protect the threatened species:
- learn about the endangered species close to your home,
- protect wildlife habitat,
- don’t use pesticides and herbicides,
- reduce your carbon footprint (walk, cycle etc. instead of drive; use less electricity and fresh water),
- buy sustainable products,
- never purchase products that might be made from endangered species (especially ivory).
Article cover photo:
“Mother and Baby Mountain Gorilla” by Carine06 is licensed under CC BY 2.0
h/t to trueactivist
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