IUCN Red List: Bad news for sharks, Komodo dragon; tuna improving | Environment News

IUCN Red List: Bad news for sharks, Komodo dragon; tuna improving | Environment News

Climate change, lack of habitat and overfishing injury marine life all over the world, the International Union for Conservation of Nature warns.

Nearly two in 5 sharks are threatened with extinction because of overfishing, the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has warned in an replace of the wildlife Red List that additionally listed Indonesia’s Komodo dragons – the world’s largest residing lizards – as “endangered”.

Overall, about 28 % of the 138,000 species assessed by the worldwide conservation physique for its survival watchlist at the moment are liable to vanishing within the wild endlessly, because the harmful impact of human exercise on the pure world deepens.

Habitat loss, overexploitation and unlawful commerce have hammered world wildlife populations for a long time, and local weather change is now kicking in as a direct menace as nicely, the IUCN reported on Saturday.

But the newest replace of the Red List for Threatened Species additionally highlights the potential for restoration, with 4 commercially fished tuna species pulling again from a slide in direction of extinction after a decade of efforts to curb overexploitation.

The most spectacular restoration was seen within the Atlantic bluefin tuna, which leapt from “endangered” throughout three classes to the protected zone of “least concern”. The species – a mainstay of high-end sushi in Japan – was final assessed in 2011.

The southern bluefin additionally improved from “critically endangered” to “endangered” whereas albacore and yellowfin tuna have been categorised as “least concern”.

Calling it “great news”, Craig Hilton-Taylor, head of the IUCN Red List unit instructed Al Jazeera the “remarkable recovery” was because of persevering with efforts to implement fishing quotas over the previous twenty years.

“It shows that conservation does work and can benefit species,” he mentioned from the French metropolis of Marseilles, which is internet hosting the IUCN Congress.

Fishing quotas helped a number of tuna species [File: Pau Barrena/AFP]

A key message from the occasion is that disappearing species and the destruction of ecosystems aren’t any much less existential threats than world warming.

At the identical time, local weather change itself is casting a darker shadow than ever earlier than on the futures of many species, notably endemic animals and crops that stay uniquely on small islands or in sure biodiversity hotspots.

Komodo dragons are discovered solely within the World Heritage-listed Komodo National Park and neighbouring Flores.

The species “is increasingly threatened by the impacts of climate change” mentioned the IUCN, noting that sea ranges are anticipated to shrink its tiny habitat a minimum of 30 % over the subsequent 45 years.

Outside of protected areas, the fearsome throwbacks are additionally quickly shedding floor as humanity’s footprint expands.

“The idea that these prehistoric animals have moved one step closer to extinction due in part to climate change is terrifying,” mentioned Andrew Terry, conservation director on the Zoological Society of London.

Their decline is a “clarion call for nature to be placed at the heart of all decision making” at crunch UN local weather talks in Glasgow, he added.

The most complete survey of sharks and rays ever undertaken, in the meantime, revealed that 37 % of 1,200 species evaluated at the moment are categorised as immediately threatened with extinction, falling into certainly one of three classes: “vulnerable”, “endangered”, or “critically endangered”.

That is a 3rd extra species in danger than solely seven years in the past, mentioned Simon Fraser University Professor Nicholas Dulvy, lead creator of a research printed on Monday underpinning the Red List evaluation.

“The conservation status of the group as a whole continues to deteriorate, and overall risk of extinction is rising at an alarming rate,” he instructed AFP news company.

Five species of sawfish – whose serrated snouts get tangled in cast-off fishing gear – and the long-lasting shortfin mako shark are amongst these most threatened.

The Food and Agriculture Organization studies some 800,000 tonnes of sharks are caught – deliberately or opportunistically – every year, however analysis suggests the true determine is 2 to 4 occasions better.

Hilton-Taylor instructed Al Jazeera that “a lot more effort needs to go into stopping and limiting shark catchers around the world”.

“Also, we need to look at the markets and who is consuming shark products and how do we change social attitudes around the consumption of shark products,” he mentioned.

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