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Why This Matters: These species are on the verge of going extinct not because of anything they did, but rather because of us humans. And only we can bring them back, which is possible but grows more difficult with each whale that dies entangled or hit by a boat, and each lemur stranded because its forests are being burned to make room for farming. Conserving 30% of the planet for nature by 2030 is more urgent than ever.
IUCN’s Red List
The most endangered species on the planet are found on the IUCN’s “Red List” – which is the result of a massive assessment the IUCN is undertaking to assess the status of 150,000 species on Earth. So far, they have studied the populations of more than 120,000 species and found that 32,441 of them are threatened with extinction, more than a quarter of all they have looked at. They had hoped to complete the assessment of all 150,000 species by the end of this year, but unfortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic has made that impossible. Dr. Jane Smart, Global Director of the IUCN Biodiversity Conservation Group, said the new listings announced yesterday make clear that “[s]aving the fast-growing number of threatened species from extinction requires transformational change, supported by action to implement national and international agreements. The world needs to act fast to halt species’ population declines and prevent human-driven extinctions, with an ambitious post-2020 biodiversity framework which the upcoming IUCN Congress will help define.”
by Julia Fine, ODP Contributing Writer A new legal petition filed by conservation organizations urges the U.S. Secretary of the Interior to “formally certify China for illegally trading in critically imperiled pangolins,” the Center for Biological Diversity wrote in a statement. If certification occurs, the US could pursue sanctions and prohibit wildlife imports from China. […]
The outbreak of COVID-19 has reminded the world that zoonotic diseases are a major threat to human health. Yet, viruses that spread from animals to humans don’t have to occur in wet markets or through illicit wildlife trade, captive animals can also spread them due to the stress and proximity to humans that occur in […]
All but a few populations of polar bears found in the high Arctic could be extinct by 2100 due to the drastic loss of sea ice across their range, according to a study in the Journal Nature Climate Change published Monday. Without ice, polar bears must survive on land, long distances from their food supplies, causing them to go hungry.
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