Which countries have the biggest threats to biodiversity?
The world’s most endangered species could be on the verge of extinction, according to a new study, which suggests that governments around the world are failing to take steps to safeguard the biodiversity they protect.
The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) lists the five most endangered vertebrates as the bison, rhino, elephant, giraffe, and mongoose.
It has previously said that the most endangered animals on Earth are the great apes, including the critically endangered Sumatran tigers.
However, the new study published in the journal Science shows that the five species are more vulnerable to climate change, habitat loss and pollution than previously thought.
It found that the global populations of all five species will be reduced by half by the end of this century, unless governments are taking action to protect them.
It also found that all the threatened species are now more threatened than they were a decade ago.
The study analysed more than 100 years of data from IUCN and the International Union of Conservation of Plant and Animal Species (IOCASP), which were compiled over the past 40 years.
The IUC, the world’s largest scientific authority on biodiversity, said that a major shift is now needed in the global conservation system.
“The numbers of threatened and endangered species is increasing.
We must continue to develop a coordinated strategy to save these species and their habitats,” said IUCS director general Irina Bokova.
“The only way to achieve this is through effective conservation.”
The scientists looked at data from more than 10,000 species around the globe.
The report found that nearly all the species listed as threatened in IUC Natura’s latest Global Threat Assessment have increased in number since 2002, while some species have experienced more rapid population growth.
In particular, the most common threats to bison and rhinos were habitat loss, water pollution, pollution from agriculture and urbanisation, and hunting.
The scientists said that habitat loss was the most significant threat, as it accounted for almost 60% of all species on the IUCNs list of most endangered.
“There is still time to act, but it is imperative that governments take decisive action to save our bison herds,” said lead author and IUCNM co-author Jocelyn Fauci.
“In the meantime, we should continue to protect rhinos from habitat loss.”
A number of countries have committed to taking measures to conserve the biodiversity of their areas, but they do not appear to be as effective as governments would like.
“Governments need to do more to protect biodiversity and make decisions to conserve species in a timely fashion,” said Fauvi.
“We need to focus on biodiversity conservation that takes place in areas where we have no access to suitable habitats.”
According to the scientists, the need for better conservation plans is becoming more urgent.
“Unfortunately, the current conservation strategies are insufficient for many of the world ‘most threatened’ species,” they said.
“There are no long-term strategies for managing biodiversity in developing countries.”