2009 IUCN Red List Highlights Continued Extinction Threat
Gland, Switzerland, 3 November, 2009 (IUCN) — The latest update of the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species shows that 17,291 species out of the 47,677 assessed species are threatened with extinction. The results reveal that 21 percent of all known mammals, 30 percent of all known amphibians, and 12 percent of all known birds are under threat.
“The scientific evidence of a serious extinction crisis is mounting,” says Jane Smart, Director of IUCN‘s Biodiversity Conservation Group. “January sees the launch of the International Year of Biodiversity. The latest analysis of the IUCN Red List shows the 2010 target to reduce biodiversity loss will not be met. It‘s time for governments to start getting serious about saving species and make sure it‘s high on their agendas for next year, as we‘re rapidly running out of time.”
The IUCN Red List shows that 1,895 of the planet‘s 6,285 amphibians are in danger of extinction, making them the most threatened group of species known to date.
“This year‘s IUCN Red List makes for sobering reading,” says Craig Hilton-Taylor, Manager of the IUCN Red List Unit. “These results are just the tip of the iceberg. We have only managed to assess 47,663 species so far; there are many more millions out there which could be under serious threat. We do, however, know from experience that conservation action works, so let‘s not wait until it‘s too late and start saving our species now.”
Widely recognized as the most definitive tally of the planet‘s threatened wildlife, the Red List is a joint effort led by IUCN and its Species Survival Commission, working with official Red List partners BirdLife International, Conservation International, NatureServe, and the Zoological Society of London.