Endangered Animals: What are Endangered Species?

What is the IUCN Red List?

This is a very comprehensive global inventory that indicates the risk of extinction of thousands of species and allows its assessment. The IUCN Red List operates by categories. There are nine: Extinct (EX), Extinct in the Wild (EW), Critically Threatened (CR), Endangered (EN), Vulnerable (VU), Near Threatened (NT), Least Concern (LC), Data Deficient (DD) , non-resident (NE).

Only the ‘Vulnerable’, ‘Endangered’ and ‘Severely Threatened’ groups are threatened. For the latter, this is the last step before extinction.

To find out if species fall into these categories, different parameters are used. For example, the more species that have fewer, reduced or fragmented ranges, the greater their propensity to threaten. The rate of decline is also analyzed.

One in five reptile species is threatened with extinction, according to a global assessment

More than 77,300 species have been evaluated, over 22,700 of which are threatened with extinction. It is estimated that 41% of amphibians, 25% of mammals, and 13% of birds are threatened.

To better understand endangered species, Craig Hilton-Taylor, Red List team leader within the International Union for Conservation of Nature, gives us his insight.

What are the criteria for each Red List category?

Craig Hilton-Taylor The criteria for including a species in a particular category in the Red List are very complex. Among other things, they include the size and trend of the population (is it increasing or decreasing?), but also the area occupied by the species and the fragmentation of this habitat. The goal is for the criteria to be consistent across very different types of species and habitats, so that they can be applied for example to species that occur all over the world, often in large numbers, as well as to species only found in a specific location and usually in small numbers.

⋙ Animal testing: This species is threatened or extinct due to humans

What actions are taken when a threat of a species is declared?

Craig Hilton-Taylor: Many countries use the Red List to inform their policies and conservation priorities, so there is a good chance that species listed as threatened will lead to better protection or specific action – but this is not automatic and depends on the situation and legislative process in each country. However, species declared threatened is often a call to action that can spur conservation efforts. These efforts are often carried out by other international or national conservation organizations and in some cases the lists are used by the many donor organizations that support species conservation to set their own funding priorities and may even launch targeted funding campaigns.

What are the most popular types found in each category?

Craig Hilton-Taylor: Many symbolic and charismatic species are threatened with extinction. For example, among the endangered species are three species of rhinoceros – the black rhino (Diceros bicornis(in Africa and rhinoceros in Sumatra)Dicerorhinus sumatrensis) and java (rhinoceros sondecus) in Asia, as well as the African forest elephant (Loxodonta cyclotis). In the critically endangered category we have the tiger (tiger tigrisor mountain gorillasGorilla Beringi). Among the emblematic species classified as vulnerable is the giant panda (giant panda melanoleuca), and GIRAFE (giraffe camelopardalis) or snow leopard (Panthera Unsia).

⋙ Mexico: There are only 10 porpoises left in the Pacific Ocean, but this species can still be saved

How often are species reevaluated to see if their class still matches them?

Craig Hilton-Taylor: The goal is to re-evaluate all Red List types every ten years; After ten years, if not reassessed, the assessments are marked as ‘to be updated’. If a species is known to be in rapid decline, reassessments can be done annually or even more frequently if necessary. For some taxonomic groups, for example birds, critically endangered species tend to be reassessed every year, while for most other birds it is only reassessed once every four years. The rate of re-evaluation is highly dependent on the availability of resources to do the work.

How many endangered species in France?

Craig Hilton-Taylor: 480 species in mainland France (including Corsica) are threatened. In the overseas territories, 1456 species are threatened with extinction.

⋙ These animals are disappearing from France due to climate change

Which country has the most endangered species?

Craig Hilton-Taylor: The most biodiverse countries also tend to be those with the highest number of threatened species – Madagascar has 3,732 species listed as threatened, Ecuador (including the Galapagos Islands) has 2,630 species, Mexico 2,245, and Indonesia 2,223.

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