The list of wildlife animals at risk and plants that face extinction continues to grow, with more than 17,000 listed species. The species most in danger of extinction include dolphins, several types of whales, and porpoises. Read on to learn about the threats facing these species and what is being done to protect them.
IUCN Red List
The IUCN Red List is a global checklist of species at risk of extinction. It is based on objective criteria, including size and geographic range. The list is used by governments to help prioritize conservation efforts. Species listed as vulnerable or endangered are threatened by extinction, habitat loss, or disease.
It currently lists over 147,517 species. More than 40 percent of these are in danger of extinction. This alarming increase is due in part to human exploitation. Despite the dire predictions, some species are recovering from catastrophe. The chinchilla rat, for example, has been considered critically endangered, and its habitat is a tiny section of the Santa Cruz region of Bolivia. The species is also threatened due to human activities like dam construction and poaching. As the number of endangered species grows, conservation efforts will need to increase dramatically.
It is also a global resource for information on species and threats to their survival. The organization aims to inform conservation efforts through its research and analysis. The list also serves as a global index of biodiversity status and trends. This data helps guide conservation priorities globally.
The IUCN Red List has proven to be an effective tool for conservation. The process has increased scientific knowledge, awareness, funding, and conservation activities. It has also helped to streamline the allocation of limited conservation resources to the most endangered species. Consequently, the IUCN Red List is becoming increasingly influential in the conservation community.
The hopes is to expand its scope and priorities.
In addition to the current list of threatened species, it has also expanded to include endemic plant species. The changes were led by IUCN plant specialist groups, and they have been useful for the whole community. However, new data requirements will undoubtedly be needed for future Red List assessments, documentation of novel threats, and policy changes. It will be important to justify these new data generation requirements to the Red List community and to develop appropriate tools to aid with data collection.
Among the rays and sharks that are on the List, three species have already been classified as “possibly extinct.” There are no reports of these species in the wild. But the IUCN’s research indicates that there is an increased threat to their survival, which is a worrying sign for conservation efforts.
Species under threat
Species under threat are species whose populations are declining due to habitat loss, past habitat loss, and climate change. Due to their small population size and restricted range, threats to these species are of high magnitude. As of March 2016, the IUCN Red List classifies this species as “endangered” and “vulnerable.” However, it is not on CITES, and it is not yet known whether it is in international trade.
The IUCN Red List is the most comprehensive global information source on the status of biodiversity. It is a critical indicator of the health of biodiversity and a catalyst for conservation policy change. It lists species’ ranges, habitats, threats, and conservation actions. You can see a list of all the species that are at risk and how their populations are changing.
Habitat loss is the leading threat to species worldwide. Deforestation has devastated much of their habitat, leaving them with just 40 km2 (15 mi2) of suitable habitat. In addition to habitat loss, they are also vulnerable to diseases, natural disasters, and introduced predators. The octopus, for example, only has a small, isolated range.
The IUCN’s rhino specialists have just published a new report on the state of this breeds poaching ahead of the CITES Conference of Parties in Panama. This report will be presented to CITES in November. By then, the species under threat will have been reduced by 85%.
Another species under threat is the Eastern Curlew, a bird found in the coastal regions of Australia. Its numbers are in decline due to habitat destruction and alteration of coastal wetlands. The loss of even small patches of wetland can be devastating. Direct disturbance on beaches can also stress these birds.
As a result of habitat loss, species are deemed “vulnerable” when their populations have decreased by 30 percent or more. The decline in population is measured over ten years or three generations. One of the most common causes of decline in these species is habitat loss, which is the leading cause of these species’ declining numbers.
Conservation measures taken
With more species threatened by climate change and invasive species, conservation efforts must be strengthened. It is suggested that A bipartisan approach is necessary to create laws that will protect the largest number of species in jeopardy.
Habitat loss is the most pressing threat to species. Deforestation, logging, and conversion to agricultural land are destroying forests. Increasing population density is affecting forested areas in the region. Also, natural events such as the 2007 tsunami have damaged forested areas. Climate change is also likely to disrupt regional vegetation, increasing sea-level rise and increasing storms.
There is a proactive role in preserving America’s forests, which absorb an estimated 10% of the country’s greenhouse gas emissions. In addition to being vital carbon sinks, old-growth forests are also an important part of our national landscapes and unique habitats. Unfortunately, wildfires continue to increase, putting these forests at risk. Thankfully, the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law includes funds for the restoration of old-growth forests.
The Recovering America’s Wildlife Act is another example of legislation that is helping to prevent habitat loss. The bill aims to invest $1.397 billion each year in local efforts to protect wildlife habitat. It also empowers state and tribal governments to take other steps to prevent biodiversity loss. The legislation would encourage the growth of the restoration economy, and expand outdoor recreation.
This fund will provide funding to help these tribes recover and manage species of greatest conservation need.
This plan will also protect the habitats of endangered species. For instance, the Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge in Maryland is undergoing significant habitat loss due to the invasive grass phragmites. As sea levels rise, this is making the situation worse. The threat to endangered species is even greater, and it is important to protect this wildlife as much as possible.
As the human population continues to increase, more wildlife species are at risk of extinction. Factors such as habitat loss and disturbance and the introduction of non-native species are putting these animals at risk.
Many experts have called for increased protection of biodiversity, as the loss of this vital resource threatens the future of our planet. Scientists estimate that up to one million species are in danger of extinction. In addition, a third of all North American bird species are in danger of extinction. Three-quarters of marine and land-based habitats have been damaged by human activities. However, these trends are less severe in areas that are managed carefully.
Whether a species is threatened or not depends on the state of its habitat and current levels of protection. The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) coordinates a network of scientists who have assessed biological information on species around the world for more than 50 years. This information is used to compile the Red List of Threatened Species, which identifies species in need of conservation and assigns them a conservation risk category. The Red List confirms that some species are vulnerable to extinction, such as tigers and giant pandas.
However, some species are poorly studied and have not yet been classified as threatened.
These species are called “data deficient” and make up 17% of the nearly one-hundred-and-five-hundred-species-assessed.
Other threats to biodiversity include pesticides and the effects of chemical compounds. Invasive species are also a concern. Speculation states that there could be a requirement to curb meat consumption to protect animal populations. Changing climatic conditions are making it harder for species to adapt. In addition, the fragmentation of natural habitats makes it more difficult for animals to migrate to other areas. This means that many species may be forced to move to unsuitable habitats.
Similarly, many wildlife animals and plants that are classified as DD are at risk of extinction. Scientists have been using a machine-learning model to estimate the extinction risk of these animals. This method is not as sophisticated as robots or computer simulations, but a simple analytical tool that runs thousands of calculations in a short period of time.
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Provided by Antonio Westley
Disclaimer: This article is meant to be seen as an overview of this subject and not a reflection of viewpoints or opinions as nothing is definitive. So, make sure to do your research and feel free to use this information at your own discretion.