Expansion of One Mammal Species Leading to Extinction of 1000 Others: IUCN Releases 2008 Red List of Threatened Animal Species

critically endangered european lynx photo

The European Lynx is among the species most threatened, with less than 150 individuals left alive in the wild. Photo: Erlon Jequié.

I hate to bring you depressing environmental news on a day when distressing financially news seems to be pouring in from all sides, but a new report assessing the state of the world’s mammal species has been released and the outlook is grim. According to the International Union for the Conservation of Nature Red List at least 25% of all the world’s mammal species are at risk of extinction. The primary suspect? If you guessed homo sapiens you’re right:Human Expansion Leads to Extinction
Summarizing their findings, the IUCN says,

Habitat loss and degradation affect 40% of the world’s mammals. It is most extreme in Central and South America, West, East and Central Africa, Madagascar, and in South and Southeast Asia. Over harvesting is wiping out larger mammals, especially in Southeast Asia, but also in parts of Africa and South America.

Within Our Lifetimes...
Julia Marton-Lefevre, director general of IUCN, as quoted by the BBC:
Within our lifetime, hundreds of species could be lot as a result our own actions, a frightening sign of what is happening to the ecosystems where they live. We must now set clear targets for the future to reverse the trend, to ensure that our enduring legacy is not to wipe out many of our closest relatives.

However, the report also stresses that concerted conservation action can have an impact: 5% of species currently listed as threatened in the wild (including such high profile species as the African elephant) are showing signs of recovery.

More on the specific species at risk at :: IUCN Red List.

via :: BBC News
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