Komodo dragons and sharks declared endangered species

Meeting at a congress in Marseille, the International Union for the Conservation of Nature has released a much-awaited update of its famous “red list” of endangered species. In total, the latest edition of this real barometer of living organisms on our planet lists 138,374 species, of which 38,543 are threatened. Or nearly 30%.

Among these species is the famous Komodo dragon, the largest lizard in the world (3 meters long and 90 kg), a few thousand of which live on a group of Indonesian islands partly covered by a national park.

Rising temperatures and therefore sea levels are expected to reduce their habitat by at least 30% over the next 45 years », Warns IUCN. The dragons present in the national park are “Well protected”, those living outside ” are threatened with significant habitat loss due to human activities “.

Overfishing for sharks and rays

Other victims of humans, sharks and rays (which are part of the same family), for which an overall reassessment has shown that 37% of the 1,200 species studied are now in danger, against 24% in 2014. They all face the overfishing, a third of them also face habitat degradation or loss and 10% the consequences of climate change, according to IUCN.

“Sustainable fishing works”

Conversely, IUCN is pleased to see “ four commercially fished tuna species recovering thanks to the implementation of regional quotas »Developed by specific organizations. Out of the seven most fished species, these four have thus seen their ranking down in the list. The Atlantic bluefin tuna even made a dramatic turnaround.

These assessments are proof that sustainable fishing approaches work, with huge long-term benefits for economic activity and biodiversity. According to Bruce Collette, chair of the IUCN tuna focus group.

The organization has also presented its new “green status of species”, intended to measure their regeneration and know the impact of conservation programs. It currently has 181 evaluated species, still far from the “red list” to which it will subsequently be integrated.

Despite the successes, this new list ” shows that we are very close to a sixth mass extinction, insists Craig Hilton-Taylor, responsible for its development. If the increase continues at this rate, we will soon be facing a major crisis.


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