7,000 species added to IUCN ‘Red List’

Habitat destruction and hunting by humans are reasons for fall in numbers
Mankind’s destruction of nature is driving species to the brink of extinction at an “unprecedented” rate, the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) warned on Thursday, as it added more than 7,000 animals, fish and plants to its endangered “Red List”. The group has now assessed more than 1,05,000 species worldwide, around 28,000 of which risk extinction.
While each group of organisms face specific threats, human behaviour, including overfishing and deforestation, was the biggest driver of plummeting populations. “Nature is declining at rates unprecedented in human history,” said IUCN acting director general Grethel Aguilar. “We must wake up to the fact that conserving nature’s diversity is in our interest.” Wedgefishes and giant guitarfishes, known collectively as Rhino Rays due to their elongated snouts, are now the most imperilled marine families on Earth. The False Shark Ray is on the brink of extinction after overfishing in the waters off of Mauritania saw its population collapse by 80% in the last 45 years. Seven species of primate are closer to extinction on the new list, including the Roloway Monkey of Cote d’Ivoire and Ghana, with fewer than 2,000 individuals left in the wild. Prime culprits are humans hunting the animals for bushmeat and “severe habitat loss” as forest is converted to land to grow food. More than 500 deep-sea bony fish and molluscs have been added to the list for the first time posing something of a conservation conundrum as the space they inhabit — 1,000 metres beneath the surface — is often beyond national boundaries. “The alarm bell has been sounding again and again concerning the unravelling crisis in freshwater and marine wildlife,” said Andrew Terry, director of conservation and policy at the Zoological Society of London.

Source : https://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-life/7000-species-added-to-iucn-red-list/article28567509.ece

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