Sunday, May 13, 2012

Species Endangerment

Ever wondered where the "endangered species" designation comes from? Ever wonder how many total species are considered endangered? A very important global organization helps to define both, which obviously are quite linked. 

Silky Sifaka Monkey is included in the Top 25 most endangered species list, their population is estimated to be between 100-1000 remaining in the world

The IUCN, or International Union for Conservation Nature is the world's leading organization for promoting nature conservation. Founded in 1948, this organization now has relationships with over 1,200 member organizations, a powerful network to influence change and action across the globe. So, back to our initial questions. 

According to the IUCN, in 2010, there were approximately 17,000 species listed as vulnerable, endangered, or critically endangered. It is a staggering number to think about, and sadly over 200 of the 17,000 species are primate species (The Top 25 Most Endangered Primates Species). The ratings of "vulnerable", "endangered", and "critically endangered" are part of the IUCN's categories and criteria. 

Siau Island Tarsier: This poor little guy only has a few thousand of his kind lift in the wild 
They also relate to those "red" and "orange" plaques or flags you may have seen at various zoo exhibits. Per the table below, the categories span from "least concern" (far right) to "extinction" (far left). 

Let us hope with organizations such as the IUCN and others around the world we can reverse the trend and the total number of endangered species over the next decade. 

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