tagged w/ IUCN Red List
According to the Charles Darwin Foundation's Stuart Banks, one in five of the 43 threatened Galapagos marine species may already be extinct.
In a landmark article published today by respected science journal, Global Change Biology, Stuart Banks, Senior Marine Scientist with the Charles Darwin Foundation (CDF), headquartered in Galapagos, teams with the world´s leading marine researchers in calling for increased focus on the forces of climate change.
Banks asserts that:
"Galapagos is well-known for being unique, but what is less apparent is how tenuous the archipelago's unique status really is." He reveals that of the 43 threatened Galapagos marine species, one in five may already be extinct.
The article provides an in-depth analysis of major studies charting changes in Galapagos biodiversity and marine ecosystems over the past 30 years. Former CDF Marine Sciences Director and ongoing CDF collaborator Graham Edgar of the University of Tasmania led the development of the paper bringing together such luminaries as Sylvia Earle; National Geographic Society, and Peter Glynn, University of Miami, Les Kaufmann, Boston University, and CDF´s Stuart Banks.
In a sobering snapshot, Banks explains that:
"The unpredictable mix of El Niño, increased human presence, and global climate change is a recipe for the breakdown of natural ecological functions with serious impact on the recovery potential of species and habitats."
The article cites the Galapagos Marine Reserve as being "a near ideal environment for quantifying effects of oceanographic anomalies and fisheries on marine biodiversity, and for modeling future impacts of climate change," areas of study currently being addressed by CDF's Galapagos Climate Change Initiative.
This major new body of investigation takes a much-needed step in understanding the ties between climate, biodiversity, and the human impact, and will combine new and historical data to increase understanding of these relationships.
REPORT: Wildlife of Galapagos Islands 'devastated by ocean warming'
Ocean warming and human activity have devastated the coastal wildlife of the Galapagos Islands, say scientists.
Several species of marine plants and animals are believed to have become extinct and many others are seriously threatened, a new report reveals. Researchers blame the impact of rising ocean temperatures coupled with fishing and tourism.
Once abundant coral reefs and kelp beds had been wiped out in just a few decades, said the scientists from US-based Conservation International. Species that were previously plentiful such as the Galapagos black-spotted damselfish, the 24-rayed sunstar and the Galapagos stringweed were now thought to have vanished. Dozens of others, including the Galapagos penguin, were within ''a hairsbreadth of annihilation''.
Based on criteria laid down by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature's Red List, two species were ''probably'' extinct, another seven ''possibly'' extinct, and a further 36 ''vulnerable, endangered or critically endangered''. Over-fishing had led to an expansion of sea urchin populations, which in turn had upset the delicate web of marine life in the islands, said the scientists.
The researchers warned the Galapagos was a ''canary in a coalmine'' indicating what the world could expect from global warming.
http://www.savegalapagos.org/news/charles-darwin-foundation/According to the Charles Darwin Foundation's Stuart Banks, one in five of the 43... more
The IUCN Red List Categories, given below, are intended to be an easily and widely understood system for classifying species at high risk of global extinction.
Extinct: the last remaining member of the species has died, or is presumed beyond reasonable doubt to have died. Examples: Dodo, Caribbean Monk Seal, Passenger Pigeon
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Extinct in the wild: captive individuals survive, but there is no free-living, natural population. Examples:South China Tiger, Alagoas Curassow
Critically endangered: faces an extremely high risk of extinction in the immediate future. Examples: Arakan Forest Turtle, Javan Rhino, Brazilian Merganser
Endangered: faces a very high risk of extinction in the near future. Examples: Blue Whale, Giant Panda, Snow Leopard, African Wild Dog, Tiger, Albatross, Crowned Solitary Eagle, Dhole
Vulnerable: faces a high risk of extinction in the medium-term. Examples: Cheetah, Sloth Bear, Lion
Conservation Dependent: The following animal is not severely threatened, but the animal must depend on conservation programs. Examples: Spotted Hyena, Leopard Shark, Black Caiman
Near Threatened: may be considered threatened in the near future. Examples: Blue-billed Duck, Maned Wolf, Small-clawed Otter
Least Concern: no immediate threat to the survival of the species. Examples: Brown Rat, Wood Pigeon, Harp Seal
for the galeries, please follow the URL.The IUCN Red List Categories, given below, are intended to be an easily and widely... more
KINIGI, Rwanda (AFP) — Rwanda "baptised" 18 rare baby mountain gorillas at what has become an annual event to highlight the plight of the endangered species.
The baby gorillas, however, were not physically present at the colourful ceremony at the edge of a national park where the primates live.
Eighteen masked people represented the gorillas at the event, which included songs and dances, attended by senior government officials including Prime Minister Bernard Makuza.
Tourism Minister Monique Nsanzabaganwa said government was expanding the the size of the volcanic park by 10 percent by the end of the year in a bid to promote the conservation of the gorillas.
"This campaign is to encourage gorilla conservation initiatives and to promote the local tourism industry," she said.
"Tourism remains one of Rwanda's key sectors," she added.
The ceremony was the fifth of its kind in Rwanda in as many years. A total of 103 gorillas have been baptised and officially received a name so far, according to AFP count.
The world's last mountain gorillas are concentrated in the mountains straddling the border between the Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda and Uganda.
They number around 700 in all, according to the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).KINIGI, Rwanda (AFP) — Rwanda "baptised" 18 rare baby mountain... more
United Nations declares 2009 'Year of the Gorilla'
Poaching, deforestation and the dreaded Ebola virus have taken a terrible toll on populations of the four remaining gorilla species. Now, in an effort to help save our primate cousins from extinction, the United Nations Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals has declared 2009 the "Year of the Gorilla."
Three of the four species of gorilla are considered critically endangered, with just 700 mountain gorillas, 300 Cross River gorillas, and 5,000 eastern lowland gorillas left. The fourth species, the Western lowland gorilla, is critically endangered in some of its home countries, although the total population is much higher, at around 150,000.
All four species face declining populations, with threats ranging from the bushmeat trade, poaching for traditional medicine, habitat destruction from logging or the charcoal trade (an important source of fuel in Africa), and disease.
Luckily, the Year of the Gorilla is already off to a good start. This week, the 10 nations with gorilla populations agreed to examine the effectiveness of their anti-poaching laws and, hopefully, improve their implementation. Some of the money pledged for the Year of the Gorilla campaign will go toward educating judges so they understand the need to strictly enforce current anti-poaching laws.
Other actions to be funded by the YoG campaign include training park rangers, supporting scientific research, raising awareness of the gorillas' threats, and developing alternative sources of income (such as eco-tourism) for people living near gorilla populations. The UN hopes to raise more than $600,000 to support these efforts.Extinction Blog
United Nations declares 2009 'Year of the Gorilla'... more
Barcelona, Spain, 6 October, 2008 (IUCN) – The most comprehensive assessment of the world’s mammals has confirmed an extinction crisis, with almost one in four at risk of disappearing forever, according to The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species™, revealed at the IUCN World Conservation Congress in Barcelona.
The new study to assess the world’s mammals shows at least 1,141 of the 5,487 mammals on Earth are known to be threatened with extinction. At least 76 mammals have become extinct since 1500. But the results also show conservation can bring species back from the brink of extinction, with five percent of currently threatened mammals showing signs of recovery in the wild.
“Within our lifetime hundreds of species could be lost as a result of our own actions, a frightening sign of what is happening to the ecosystems where they live,” says Julia Marton-Lefèvre, IUCN Director General. “We must now set clear targets for the future to reverse this trend to ensure that our enduring legacy is not to wipe out many of our closest relatives.”
The real situation could be much worse as 836 mammals are listed as Data Deficient. With better information more species may well prove to be in danger of extinction.
“The reality is that the number of threatened mammals could be as high as 36 percent,” says Jan Schipper, of Conservation International and lead author in a forthcoming article in Science. “This indicates that conservation action backed by research is a clear priority for the future, not only to improve the data so that we can evaluate threats to these poorly known species, but to investigate means to recover threatened species and populations.”
The results show 188 mammals are in the highest threat category of Critically Endangered, including the Iberian Lynx (Lynx pardinus), which has a population of just 84-143 adults and has continued to decline due to a shortage of its primary prey, the European Rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus).
Barcelona, Spain, 6 October, 2008 (IUCN) – The most comprehensive assessment of... more
An "extraordinary" desert creature has been caught on camera for what scientists believe is the first time.
The long-eared jerboa, a tiny nocturnal mammal that is dwarfed by its enormous ears, can be found in deserts in Mongolia and China.
Zoological Society of London (ZSL) scientist Jonathan Baillie said the footage was helping researchers to learn more about the mysterious animal.
The species is classified as endangered on the IUCN Red list.
The unusual animals were filmed in the Gobi desert during an expedition led by Dr Baillie.
Until now, the creatures had proven extremely difficult to study, thanks to their minuscule size, nocturnal nature and the harsh desert environment that they inhabit. An "extraordinary" desert creature has been caught on camera for what... more