by Julia Conley
The Northern Muriqui was added to
International Union for Conservation of Nature's
list" of endangered species this year,
been classified as "critically endangered."
Leonardo Mercon/VW Pics
Universal Images Group via Getty Images)
Species Under Threat...
"We must act now
Calling on global policymakers to act immediately to preserve
biodiversity and save tens of thousands of species from extinction,
the group behind the world's most definitive list of
endangered animals and plants has
added more than 2,600 threatened species to its annual report.
'The Red List,'
published Thursday by the International Union for Conservation of
revealed that one third of all species the group has assessed are
now under threat due to,
...due to the climate
crisis and other factors, including many human activities.
update clearly shows
how much humans
around the world
Dr. Grethel Aguilar, IUCN
Of the approximately
9,000 species the IUCN assessed over the past year, the group
determined about 2,600 to be endangered, critically endangered, or
threatened, bringing the total number of vulnerable species to about
28,000 of the more than 100,000 that have now been
"Nature is declining
at rates unprecedented in human history,"
said Jane Smart, global
director of the IUCN Biodiversity Conservation Group.
"Decisive action is
needed at scale to halt this decline; the timing of this
assessment is critical as governments are starting to negotiate
a new global biodiversity framework for such action."
A quarter of all mammals
are threatened with possible extinction, while 40 percent of the
world's amphibians and a third of reefs and corals - which in
providing thousands of species with habitats,
also protect humans' habitats by halting the erosion of coastlines -
are now endangered.
On social media, climate action and conservation advocates decried
the "bleak assessment" and wrote that the Red List only
bolsters the case for taking immediate action to move toward
sustainable energy sources and curb the climate crisis.
The updated Red List was released less than a year after the
World Wildlife Federation revealed that
60 percent of all animal
species have been wiped out since 1970 due to human activity.
Plummeting biodiversity observed by scientists has prompted the IUCN
to call for the United Nations, at its biodiversity summit planned
for next year in China, to move toward bold reforms aimed at curbing
fossil fuel emissions which have contributed to the climate
crisis and ending other human activities linked to the decline of
thousands of species.
"Loss of species and
climate change are the two great challenges facing humanity this
century," Lee Hannah, a scientist with Conservation
"The Red List
addresses both, by letting us know the extinction risk faced by
all species, including climate change, in that assessment. The
results are clear, we must act now both on biodiversity loss and
"This update clearly shows how much humans around the world are
overexploiting wildlife," said the IUCN's acting director, Dr.
Species newly listed as
"critically endangered" - the category most disconcerting to
scientists after regional extinction and extinction in the wild -
A number of trees,
including the formerly-common American elm tree, are now considered
About 90 percent of
forest trees native to Madagascar, whose wood is widely used and
illegally trafficked around the world, are now threatened with
"The implications for
people are that we lose valuable resources such as rosewoods and
elms, and we also lose ecosystem resilience, undermining the
essential ecosystem services that forests provide," said Paul
Smith, secretary general of Botanic Gardens Conservation
"It is imperative
that we not only halt the loss of tree species diversity but
that we restore habitats with a diverse range of tree species
where these have already been degraded by human activities."
On the IUCN's assessment
of more than 105,000 species around the world, no
endangered or vulnerable animal or plant species was listed as
having an improved outlook for its survival.