IUCN Red list update
The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has updated its red list which now includes 147,517 species, including 41,459 threatened with extinction.
The IUCN Global Red List of Threatened Species is an indicator for monitoring the state of biodiversity around the world. The most complete inventory of the global conservation status of plant and animal species, the Red List is based on a series of precise criteria to assess the risk of extinction of thousands of species and subspecies. These criteria apply to all species and all parts of the world.
Under this system, each species or subspecies can be assigned to one of nine categories: Extinct (EX), Extinct in the Wild (EW), Critically Endangered (CR), Endangered (EN), Vulnerable (VU), Near Threatened (NT), Least Concern (LC), Data Deficient (DD), Not Evaluated (NE). The classification of a species or a subspecies in one of the three categories of species threatened with extinction (CR, EN or VU) is carried out through a series of five quantitative criteria: size population, rate of decline, geographic range, degree of settlement and fragmentation of distribution.
Among the changes to the Red List, the migratory monarch butterfly has been added to the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species as Endangered, threatened by habitat destruction and climate change.
This subspecies of the monarch butterfly has seen its population in North America decline between 22% and 72% over the past decade. The Western population has shrunk by around 99.9% since the 1980s and the larger Eastern population has declined by 84% between 1996 and 2014. There are, however, signs of hope in the mobilization of the public and organizations to try to protect this butterfly and its habitats.
All species of sturgeon still alive in the northern hemisphere, also migratory, are now threatened with extinction due to dams and poaching, pushing this group of animals, the most seriously threatened in the world, even more close to extinction.
Due to dams and poaching, 100% of the world's remaining 26 sturgeon species are now threatened with extinction. The lake sturgeon has moved from the "critically endangered" category to the "extinct in the wild" category. The reassessment also confirmed the extinction of the Chinese paddlefish.
The tiger has been reassessed, revealing new population figures.
The last assessment of the global population of tigers living in the wild was in 2015, and the new count has put their numbers at between 3,726 and 5,578. The 40% jump is explained by improvements in tracking techniques, showing that there are more tigers than previously thought and that the number of tigers worldwide appears to be stable or increasing. However, it remains a species threatened by poaching, hunting, habitat fragmentation and destruction due to increasing pressures from agriculture and human settlements.
"To protect this species, it is essential to expand and connect protected areas together, to ensure that they are managed effectively and to work with local communities living in and around tiger habitats."