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frogfish

More species slide into extinction

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More species slide to extinction

By Richard Black

Environment Correspondent, BBC News website

A decline in hippo numbers has led to Red List classification

The polar bear and hippopotamus are for the first time listed as species threatened with extinction by the world's biodiversity agency.

They are included in the Red List of Threatened Species published by the World Conservation Union (IUCN) which names more than 16,000 at-risk species.

Many sharks, and freshwater fish in Europe and Africa, are newly included.

The IUCN says loss of biodiversity is increasing despite a global convention committing governments to stem it.

"The 2006 Red List shows a clear trend; biodiversity loss is increasing, not slowing down," said IUCN director-general Achim Steiner.

"The implications of this trend for the productivity and resilience of ecosystems and the lives and livelihoods of billions of people who depend on them are far-reaching."

WHAT ARE THE THREATS?

Human activities threaten 99% of Red List species

Habitat loss and degradation are the main threats, affecting more than 80% of listed birds, mammals and amphibians

Climate change is increasingly recognised as a serious threat

Other issues relating to human activity include introduction of alien species, over-exploitation and pollution

Overall, 16,119 species are included in this year's Red List, the most detailed and authoritative regular survey of the health of the plant, fungi and animal kingdoms.

This represents more than a third of the total number of species surveyed; the list includes one in three amphibians, a quarter of coniferous trees, and one in four mammals.

"The more species we assess, the more threatened species we find," commented Jean-Christophe Vie, deputy co-ordinator of IUCN's species programme.

"And because it is such a massive effort to assess a species, to gather all the data, get it all peer-reviewed and so on, 16,000 is a massive underestimate of the true problem," he told the BBC News website.

Climate and hunting

Polar bears are particularly affected by loss of Arctic ice, which the IUCN attributes to climatic change.

They need ice floes in order to hunt seals and other prey; without it, their food supply will decline. There is also evidence that the snow caves where they raise their young are melting earlier in the year.

See species on the brink

In pictures

Polar bears are listed as Vulnerable to Extinction based on forecasts that their population will decline by 50% to 100% over the next 50 to 100 years.

In the tropics, the common hippopotamus has entered the Red List for the first time because the population in the Democratic Republic of Congo has declined spectacularly - by about 95% in a decade.

The country's turbulent political situation has allowed unregulated hunting for meat and for the ivory in their teeth.

"Regional conflicts and political instability in some African countries have created hardship for many of the region's inhabitants, and the impact on wildlife has been equally devastating," said IUCN chief scientist Jeffrey McNeely.

The common hippo's decline in DRC has led to a Vulnerable listing even though other African populations including the largest, in Zambia, have held up well.

The much less well known pygmy hippo has suffered from illegal logging and poor protection in several West African nations, leading to an upgrade in its status from Vulnerable to Endangered.

British threats

Included on the Red List for the first time is the black-tailed godwit, a bird familiar to British and European enthusiasts, which gains a Near Threatened classification.

RED LIST DEFINITIONS

Extinct - Surveys suggest last known individual has died

Critically Endangered - Extreme high risk of extinction

Endangered - Species at very high risk of extinction

Vulnerable - Species at high risk of extinction

Near Threatened - May soon move into above categories

Least Concern - Species is widespread and abundant

The species returned to Britain in 1952, a century after persecution and habitat drainage made it locally extinct, and now appears to be impacted by habitat changes across Europe.

"It is a bird which we think has to have favourably managed areas in order to survive," said Grahame Madge, a spokesman for the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB).

"It joins two other species found in Britain on the Red List, the corncrake and red kite, which also have a Near Threatened classification," he told the BBC News website.

"But conservation successes mean it is not inconceivable that red kites might be taken from the UK to bolster populations in other European countries."

Marine misery

The desperate situation of many sharks and rays is just the tip of the iceberg

Craig Hilton-Taylor, IUCN

For the first time, this year's Red List includes a comprehensive region-by-region assessment on some groups of marine animals.

It shows that sharks and rays - members of the elasmobranch group of fish - are disappearing at an unprecedented rate across the globe.

About 20% of the 547 species surveyed merit inclusion on the Red List.

Some of these are fish which were once common on dinner plates in the UK and surrounding countries. The angel shark has been declared Extinct in the North Sea and Critically Endangered globally, while the common skate's status has also been upgraded to Critically Endangered.

The IUCN says that with fisheries extending into ever deeper zones of the ocean which are largely unregulated, populations of many species are set to decline sharply.

"The desperate situation of many sharks and rays is just the tip of the iceberg," said Craig Hilton-Taylor of the IUCN Red List Unit.

All silent down at the pond

The value of the last

"It is critical that urgent action to greatly improve management practices and implement conservation measures, such as agreed non-fishing areas, enforced mesh-size regulations and international catch limits is taken before it is too late."

In the Mediterranean, freshwater fish are faring even worse than their sea-going counterparts.

Fifty-six percent of the 252 species endemic to the Mediterranean are threatened with extinction, the IUCN says; while in East Africa, a quarter of freshwater fish are at risk, which could carry important consequences for a human population highly dependent on fish for protein.

Limited success

It is not all doom and gloom. The first optimistic note is that the overall number of species in this Red List is not significantly higher than in the last edition published in November 2004, which numbered 15,589 species on the brink.

And the number of species believed to have gone extinct over the last 500 years has not changed, a reflection of the fact that conservation efforts tend to intensify as final oblivion approaches.

The white-tailed eagle is a rare conservation success, says IUCN

The IUCN notes some marked conservation successes among the much more frequent stories of a slide towards oblivion.

The number of white-tailed eagles has soared in many European nations, and the bird's status has been downgraded from Near Threatened to Least Concern.

A recent decision by the Indian government to phase out a veterinary drug which was poisoning the common vulture, causing numbers to fall by 97%, is also cited as a simple measure which can bring great success.

But the overall message is that biodiversity continues to decline, despite the UN Biodiversity Convention which commits governments to halt the trend by 2010.

Jean-Christophe Vie believes there is a vast gap between what governments have promised and the action they are taking.

"Everything we find shows that it doesn't happen," he said, "and there is very little chance to achieve this goal unless there is a drastic change and governments decide to tackle the roots of species extinction."

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:no: what sad news...I hope they can bring back these species from the brink...

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there must be some action taken we can not allow this injustice to happen, we have killed far to many as it is, man things like this make me want to join Greenpeace and become a vegan.

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the biggest hurdle is getting other people to care...

most do't give a crap about anything else in the world but them selves...

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Human activities threaten 99% of Red List species

What a shocker. :hmm:

As an individual, it seems so difficult to make an impact on the issue. But I think collectively we can accomplish something.

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As an individual, it seems so difficult to make an impact on the issue. But I think collectively we can accomplish something.

So true...

most do't give a crap about anything else in the world but them selves...

Its not that...Most DO care...Its that human need is 'shrinking' this planet...Our need to sustain ourselves causes the endangerment of other species (human population conflicts with animals).

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its sad that things like rhinos and hippos will be nothing but noveties in zoos for the next generation.

Like the Black Rhino, the White Rhino is under threat from habitat loss and poaching, most recently by an offshoot of the janjaweed. A recent population count in the Congo turned up only 10 rhinos left in the wild, which led conservationists in January 2005 to propose airlifting White Rhinos in Garamba into Kenya. Although official approval was initially obtained, resentment of foreign interference within the Congo has prevented the airlift from happening as of the beginning of 2006.

In 2005, the population of hippos in Democratic Republic of the Congo's Virunga National Park had dropped to 800 or 900 individuals from around 29,000 in the mid 1970s, raising concerns about the viability of that population.

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im pretty sure before they come extinct they'll take dna samples and once cloning is an absolute thing they can revive em

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im pretty sure before they come extinct they'll take dna samples and once cloning is an absolute thing they can revive em

Or they can just make strict enforcements and start breeding programs in zoos to bring them back :tu: This brought back many animals...like asiatic lions which sprung from a mere 13 to 350 now in the wild.

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So true the amount of species extintion will hurt hunaity it already has.....Every thing has a place in the whole...manapa said it best CARING IS THE BIGGEST HURDLE and some have said great ideas the guy said become a vegan do you know how much you would impact the ecossytem and life in general by making that decision not o mention every day your life would be used as a soulution not towards the problem...yele everything counts even doing nothig there is so much we each can do its not even funny....cutting back on meat intake by 10 persent contributes greatly to the planet...how hard is that...you don't have to join causes become your own cause your life is fertile ground for it..you can research every corp you put your dollars into only support those that speak of your highest vision.......RAise awareness on a casue you feel passionate about as Manapa does what a great use of time....this idea that nothing matters is b.s. it all matters lol it justifys doing nothign........We should have a thread on what i can change in my life to support life to be a part of the solution...lol.....NO CHOICE IS STILL A CHOICE......A person who cares makes decisions that reflect that and a person who is ambivilent makes choices that reflect that......its really that simple....

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....cutting back on meat intake by 10 persent contributes greatly to the planet

Meat that is grown on a farm and nowhere near extinction..

Stop using this as a chance to spread vegan propagandism and concentrate on the topic at hand-extinction of CERTAIN species.

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Meat that is grown on a farm and nowhere near extinction..

Stop using this as a chance to spread vegan propagandism and concentrate on the topic at hand-extinction of CERTAIN species.

Frog think outside the box dude, try not to be so literal lol.........It applys to the topic as a whole approach it from that persepctive lol......

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by implementing veganism? Seems a little suspicious :P I think breeding programs are better :tu:

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by implementing veganism? Seems a little suspicious :P I think breeding programs are better :tu:

Frog read all the posts then you'll see why i said what i said lol........Why are species going extinct frog??????whats happened to many of the ocean predators hmmm......

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And so goes the natural cycle of life, think of the millions or billions of species that have gone into extinction because of climate change, or from comets, or from predators. And this all happened before we came around.

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Frog read all the posts then you'll see why i said what i said lol........Why are species going extinct frog??????whats happened to many of the ocean predators hmmm......

Because we eat meat? I don't think so...

And so goes the natural cycle of life, think of the millions or billions of species that have gone into extinction because of climate change, or from comets, or from predators. And this all happened before we came around.

Those are due to natural causes or disasters...Many species today are endangered because of poaching and such...

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And so goes the natural cycle of life, think of the millions or billions of species that have gone into extinction because of climate change, or from comets, or from predators. And this all happened before we came around.

what we are talking about is way more then the natural rate, we have alot to do with it and we need to do somthing about it

The effects of human beings upon other species is increasing the rate of extinction for many species by a factor as great as 1,000, according to presenters at the International Botanical Congress in St. Louis in August. The increase in the rate of extinction could reach 10,000 times the natural rate seen in evolution, they say.

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great post sheri

:tu:

sorry most people don't see the connection between the two subjects though, i'm on your side

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There are better ways than going vegan to solve this problem...

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There are better ways than going vegan to solve this problem...

Oh really name some frog and what are you doing about it.......

thankyou manapa for your kindness friend It inspires me and if only more were like you ........(hugs)

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Oh really name some frog and what are you doing about it.......

thankyou manapa for your kindness friend It inspires me and if only more were like you ........(hugs

Breeding programs...Capturing the remaining species to start breeding programs. Enforce strict regulations...stop paoching...etc.

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the biggest hurdle is getting other people to care...

most do't give a crap about anything else in the world but them selves...

:yes::cry: sadly true

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