Tuesday, October 02, 2007


Gorilla in Gabon. Photo by Rhett A. Butler

16,306 of 41,415 species on the IUCN Red List are threatened with extinction, reports the World Conservation Union (IUCN). The total number of known extinct species now stands at 785, while a further 65 are only found in captivity or in cultivation. 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 considered at risk.

“This year’s IUCN Red List shows that the invaluable efforts made so far to protect species are not enough," said Julia Marton-Lefèvre, Director General of the World Conservation Union (IUCN). "The rate of biodiversity loss is increasing and we need to act now to significantly reduce it and stave off this global extinction crisis. This can be done, but only with a concerted effort by all levels of society.”...

Many scientists say Earth is presently in the midst of a sixth great extinction, the Holocene. Unlike previous mass extinctions in the past -- the Ordovician, the Devonian, the Permian, the Triassic and the Cretaceous -- the current extinction event results directly from human activities, including habitat destruction, overexploitation, and the introduction of alien species to environments where they do not occur naturally. Scientists estimate that extinction rates are presently 1,000-10,000 times the historical background rate of about 1 species per million per year. They say that extinction rates will significantly increase in coming years, especially as the impacts of climate change intensify.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Phronesisaical -
check out www.oneplanetonelife.com. It is all about the current extinction crisis.

- will