Endangered 1/4 of world’s animals need your protection

IUCN Red List reveals world’s mammals in crisis
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 results of the studies 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. The assessment of the world’s mammals shows that species can recover with concerted conservation efforts.

The Black-footed Ferret (Mustela nigripes) moved from Extinct in the Wild to Endangered after a successful reintroduction by the US Fish and Wildlife Service into eight western states and Mexico from 1991-2008.  Similarly, the Wild Horse (Equus ferus) moved from Extinct in the Wild in 1996 to Critically Endangered this year after successful reintroductions started in Mongolia in the early 1990s.

The African Elephant (Loxodonta africana) moved from Vulnerable to Near Threatened, although its status varies considerably across its range. The move reflects the recent and ongoing population increases in major populations in southern and eastern Africa. These increases are big enough to outweigh any decreases that may be taking place elsewhere.

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.” said.

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 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).

China’s Père David’s Deer (Elaphurus davidianus), is listed as Extinct in the Wild. However, the captive and semi-captive populations have increased in recent years and it is possible that truly wild populations could be re-established soon. Another 29 species that have been flagged as Critically Endangered Possibly Extinct, including Cuba’s Little Earth Hutia (Mesocapromys sanfelipensis), which has not been seen in nearly 40 years.

Nearly 450 mammals have been listed as Endangered, including the Tasmanian Devil (Sarcophilus harrisii), which moved from Least Concern to Endangered after the global population declined by more than 60 percent in the last 10 years due to a fatal infectious facial cancer.

The Fishing Cat (Prionailurus viverrinus), found in Southeast Asia, moved from Vulnerable to Endangered due to habitat loss in wetlands. Similarly, the Caspian Seal (Pusa caspica) moved from Vulnerable to Endangered. Its population has declined by 90 percent in the last 100 years due to unsustainable hunting and habitat degradation and is still decreasing.

Habitat loss and degradation affect 40 percent of the world’s mammals. It is most extreme in Central and South America, West, East and Central Africa, Madagascar, and in South and Southeast Asia. Over harvesting is wiping out larger mammals, especially in Southeast Asia, but also in parts of Africa and South America.

The Grey-faced Sengi or Elephant-shrew (Rhynchocyon udzungwensis) is only known from two forests in the Udzungwa Mountains of Tanzania, both of which are fully protected but vulnerable to fires. The species was first described this year and has been placed in the Vulnerable category.

http://www.iucn.org/news_events/events/congress/live/index.cfm?uNewsID=1695

Step by Step with all of us working together we can save our earth. Help your local natural world. -Mother Nature

Free images-thanks.

http://www.weforanimals.com/galleries/animals%20gallery/animal%20pictures/page-1/animal_pictures-5.htm

http://www.copyright-free-photos.org.uk/horses/11-wild-horse.htm

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