The cargo ship that ran aground off the coast of Mauritius on 25 July, causing incalculable damage, has split in two and its captain has been arrested.
IUCN, the are over 22 thousand endangered species, here are the 15 new entries
The endangered species now include 15 new species such as Pacific bluefin tuna, Chinese Pufferfish and Tanzanian chameleon.
What do a tuna, a chameleon, an eel and a butterfly have in common? The fact of being included in the Red list of threatened species worldwide compiled by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). The list, that already included 22 thousand endangered species, now consists of 15 new candidates for oblivion.
The main cause is their loss of habitat due to human growing appetite for resources: fishing, deforestation, mining, intensive farming are bringing to the brink of collapse entire ecosystems, without considering climate change. One of the vulnerable species included in the Red list is the Pacific bluefin tuna (Thunnus orientalis), which is fished uncontrollably and without the use of sustainable practices because of its fine meat (a specimen is valued up to 100 thousand dollars). According to experts, there are methods to avoid fishing young specimens.
For the same reason even the Chinese pufferfish (Takifugu chinensis) is desappearing. In fact, it is considered a delicacy in Asian cuisine and in the last 40 years this bizarre species has declined by 99.99 percent. It may be too late for the largest earwig in the world (Labidura herculeana); this insect endemic to St Helena, in the South Atlantic Ocean, that can attain a length of up to 80 mm, against the 15 of its European counterpart was, in fact, declared extinct. The same fate is suffered by a small snail (Plectostoma sciaphilum) known from a single limestone hill in Malaysia, completely destroyed by limestone quarrying.
“Each update of the IUCN Red List makes us realize that our planet is constantly losing its incredible diversity of life, – said Julia Marton-Lefèvre, IUCN Director General – largely due to our destructive actions to satisfy our growing appetite for resources”. Protected areas are an effective tool to reverse this frightening trend. “Experts warn that threatened species poorly represented in protected areas are declining twice as fast as those which are well represented”.
Bangladesh suffered widespread damage as a result of Cyclone Amphan. Yet the Sundarbans mangrove forest acted as a natural barrier protecting the country from further destruction, as it has done countless times before.
A historic win for the Ashaninka of Brazil as they receive compensation for deforestation on their land
On top of a 2.4 million dollar compensation, the indigenous Ashaninka people will receive an official apology from the companies who deforested their lands in the 1980s.
The largest coral reef in the world is severely threatened by climate change, but researchers are developing strategies that could contribute to saving the Great Barrier Reef.
Seychelles have extended its marine protected area, which now covers over 400,000 square kilometres, an area larger than Germany.
The tapir was reintroduced into Brazil’s Atlantic Forest, the country’s most at-risk ecosystem. The species can play a key role in the forest’s recovery.
Forests are home to 80 per cent of the world’s terrestrial biodiversity. This year’s International Day of Forests highlights the urgent changes needed to save them.
Norwegian oil giant Equinor had pulled out of drilling for oil in the Great Australian Bight, one of the country’s most uncontaminated areas. A victory for activists and surfers who are now campaigning for the area to be protected forever.
30 per cent of the planet needs to be protected to stop precipitous species decline. The UN has set out its aims for the the COP15 on biodiversity scheduled for Kunming, China in October.