According to a new red list presented Saturday at a worldwide conference aimed at safeguarding declining species, the world’s sharks and rays have suffered population reductions since 2014, and an increasing number are now threatened with extinction.
Because of increasing sea levels and temperatures in its Indonesian environment, the Komodo dragon is currently classified as endangered.
This year, ebonies and rosewoods, which are threatened by logging, were among the trees added to the list for the first time.
There are signs of optimism, too. According to The International Union for the Conservation of Nature, fishing restrictions have allowed many tuna species to be placed on the “path to recovery.”
According to the IUCN, 37 per cent of the world’s sharks and rays are classified endangered as of 2021, up from 33 per cent seven years earlier. The rising trend is explained by overfishing, habitat degradation, and climate change, according to the report. Since 1970, the number of oceanic sharks has decreased by 71%.
But, as IUCN head Bruno Oberle told reporters in Marseille, progress in recovering tuna stocks and other species “is the proof that if states and other actors take the necessary steps… it is possible to recover.”
Every year, the IUCN Red List Unit reassesses hundreds of species. More than 38,000 of the 138,000 species tracked by the organization are endangered.
Several recent studies have found that global warming, deforestation, habitat degradation, pollution, and other concerns are putting a burden on many of the planet’s ecosystems.
More than half of all bird of prey species are in decline, with 18 of them classified as severely endangered. Warming temperatures and thawing ice are expected to endanger 70% of Emperor penguin colonies by 2050, and 98 per cent by 2100.
At the opening of the World Conservation Congress in Marseille on Friday, actor Harrison Ford delivered an emotional plea to protect biodiversity.
“It’s difficult to witness nationalism flourish in the face of a global issue that necessitates global collaboration and action,” he added. “It’s difficult to read the news and convince your children that everything is OK despite floods, fires, famines, and epidemics. It’s not going to work out. Damn it, this isn’t going to work.”
“Come on, everyone,” he said. “Let’s get started.”
Environmental organizations are pushing governments to adopt more aggressive measures to safeguard the seas, the Amazon, and other vital ecosystems.
The meeting will go through September 11th. The linkages between climate change and biodiversity loss, as well as the ethics of genetic modification to improve species’ chances of survival, are among the issues discussed. The discussions will also serve as a precursor to the United Nations’ global climate summit, COP26, which will take place in November in Glasgow, Scotland.