Saturday, September 15, 2007

Red List longer than ever

IUCN - The World Conservation Union, which we normally talk about in conjunction with the Wilderness Task Force, has recently released the 2007 Red List:

IUCN Red List"There are now 41,415 species on the IUCN Red List and 16,306 of them are threatened with extinction, up from 16,118 last year. The total number of extinct species has reached 785 and a further 65 are only found in captivity or in cultivation."
Now The Economist pointed to 'species inflation' in an article back in May saying:

Economist.com"As new areas are explored, the number of species naturally increases (see article).
For example, the number of species of monkey, ape and lemur gradually increased until the mid-1960s, when it levelled off. In the mid-1980s, however, it started rising again. Today there are twice as many primate species as there were then.
That is not because a new wave of primatologists has emerged, pith-helmeted, from the jungle with hitherto unknown specimens. It is because a lot of established subspecies have been reclassified as species." - Full article

OK, so the total list of species is longer than ever ... But expressed differently:

"One in four mammals, one in eight birds, one third of all amphibians and 70% of the world’s assessed plants on the 2007 IUCN Red List are in jeopardy."
- http://www.iucn.org/redlist
That should make anybody sit up. But what to do about it?

- In addition to strongly supporting the IUCN, we develop tomorrow's environmentally aware leaders through our school, cadet and social programmes. If you'd like to help more young people go through our training, get in touch or consider making a donation or raise some funds today.

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