Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Latest estimates on endangered species

Over 19,000 species of animal and plant are in danger of extinction worldwide, up from just over 11,000 in 2000, according to the latest "Red List of Threatened Species" from the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

via http://www.economist.com/blogs/dailychart/2011/06/endangered-species

About one-third are considered "threatened" (critically endangered, endangered or vulnerable).

Between 2000 and 2011 the number of species assessed by the IUCN grew by over 60%.

Amphibians (frogs, toads and salamanders) who were not fully assessed until 2004 show the greatest loss partially because of the increased evaluation.

Habitat loss, pollution, disease and invasive species continue to diminish all species.

Mammals fare the best with the percentage of endangered species down since 2000.

Arabian Oryx (Oryx leucoryx)
 After the last wild individuals of the Arabian Oryx (Oryx leucoryx) were killed in the early 1970s, a captive breeding program and protective legislation were established to bring the species back from the brink of extinction. Formerly occurring throughout most of the Arabian Peninsula, the Arabian Oryx has been reintroduced to five countries. The wild population currently numbers 1000 mature individuals. Illegal live capture for sale to private collections remains a constant threat, and poaching continues to threaten individuals who wander outside of release sites. Drought and overgrazing have affected habitat quality in places, limiting potential future release sites. Despite these issues, its relatively steady wild population growth qualifies the Arabian Oryx to be downlisted in 2011 from Endangered to Vulnerable. Photo © D Mallon/Antelope Specialist Group

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