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Rhynchobatus syndey aquarium

IUCN Red List update says more than 28000 species are officially threatened

According to the Red List of Threatened Species which has been compiled by International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), more than 28,000 species all over the planet are threatened. Updated on Thursday, it estimated the risk of extinction for almost 106,000 species and identified that more than a quarter are in trouble. 

IUCN uses highly rigorous criteria to determine each species thus setting the global standard guide to extinction risk of biodiversity. In the recent update, 105,732 species were ranked from the category of least concern to critically endangered and extinct. According to this update, there are 28,338 threatened species while 873 species have been extinct since the year 1500. These numbers might seem small however only 1 percent of the flora and fauna of the planet have been assessed formally by IUCN.

An excess of 7000 species were added to the Red List which includes 501 Australian species which includes dragonflies and fish. The shortfin eel has been classified as near threatened due to poor river management, land clearing and deficiency of nutrients. Twenty Australian dragonflies were assessed which includes five species facing threat from loss of habitat and degradation. Expansion of mining and urban areas pose threats to western swiftwing which is found in Western Australia. 

The species of rhino rays which consists of wedgefishes and large guitarfishes, ranging from Australia to Eastern Atlantic are quite close to extinction. Six giant guitarfishes and nine wedgefishes out of ten are critically endangered. In the Eastern Atlantic ranges and wider Indo-Pacific regions, the rhino ray population are subjected to unregulated exploitation. Overfishing for meat and their valuable fins have led to this condition. Trading of their meat is an important part of coastal livelihood and food security in tropical nations. Due to demand for shark fin soup, the white fins of rhino rays are very valuable and often fetch nearly a thousand dollars for every kilogram. 

The clown wedgefish belonging to Indo-Malay Archipelago has been seen only once in more than 20 years when a dead specimen was photographed by a local researcher in Singapore fish market. The fishing of false shark ray belonging to Mauritania in West Africa has taken a high toll as there have been no recent sightings.

Small fishing boats have increased from 125 in 1950 to 4000 in 2005. This rise in fishing is seen in tropical nations of Indo-West Pacific, where maximum rhino rays are found. 

Effective rhino ray conservation needs a number of measures such as protection of national species, management of habitat, bycatch reduction and restrictions on international trade. The implementation of these measures needs effective enforcement and compliance. If we cannot save the rhino rays, it translates to our ineffectiveness of managing the extinction crisis. Due to inaction, there will be a loss of biodiversity and eventual collapse of ecosystems. 

Ice age fauna of northern Spain

More than a million species endangered to get lost in a sixth mass extinction

Recent researches shows that the planet may be in the middle of sixth mass extinction. The phrase “mass extinction” does not mean any asteroid crash which led to the extinction of dinosaurs but today different devastating extinctions take place. Hotter oceans, deforestation, climatic change are the main reasons towards the verge of extinction of fauna and these reasons are reducing the scale of the population of animals in huge amount.

The scientists are saying maybe the report to be available in the next week can change the idea. It is said that the report is planned to release on Monday in United Nations. The report is from the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services that estimates the condition of the planet’s biodiversity. The document has been created since 2005 which analyses the number of species which are endangered due to the reason of extinction and what is the reason behind it and how many species are already extinct and the document also keeps an eye on the population growth as well as the increase in the release of greenhouse gas.

The documentation had almost 1800 pages and the documentation has information collected from more than 15000 research publications and academic papers and the main aim of this documentation is to notify the policymaker on how to handle the impacts of climate change in a better way. The research was published in AFP and they had got the early report on this matter and according to their research things can worsen than we thought.

The AFP in April reported that the rate of extinction of species has been growing faster, even more, faster than the normal rate. They also added that already many species are in the verge of extinction and now this becomes half of a million in one million species and they also said that it’s not a new research but they have been in the verge of extinction since many decades.

The UN decided to release only the summary of its report after it gets checked and finalized in Paris within this week. The report in the AFP also included 75% of the land, 40% of oceans and 50% of rivers species. The reason behind this degradation is the emission of greenhouse gas which is caused due to energy production, manufacturing, and transportation.

There is a rise in global temperature of a minimum of 0.7 degrees since the man-made emissions have doubled. In a study of 2017, it was found that species are experiencing “biological annihilation” thus leading to the highest mass extinction period than ever. A study in 2019 found out that insects are decreasing by 2.5% per year which may lead to the extinction of insects by 2119.