In the News: Latest update of the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species released
Released today, the latest update of the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species shows that a staggering 19,265 species are currently threatened with extinction.
Over 900 new species have been classified as threatened — that is, considered to be Critically Endangered, Endangered or Vulnerable — since the last update in 2010, showing that there is no let up in the extinction crisis threatening the world's biodiversity.
Although more species are thought to be threatened than ever before, the IUCN are keen to highlight that there have also been major conservation success stories.
A grain of hope in the desert
The Arabian oryx (photo) was nearly hunted to extinction. It is believed that the last wild individual was shot in 1972, but this year, thanks to successful captive breeding and re-introduction efforts, the wild population now stands at more than 1,000 individuals and currently faces a much more secure future.
"To have brought the Arabian oryx back from the brink of extinction is a major feat and a true conservation success story, one which we hope will be repeated many times over for other threatened species," says H.E. Razan Khalifa Al Mubarak, Secretary General of the Environment Agency — Abu Dhabi, a principal sponsor of ARKive.
As a result of the dedicated drive to ensure the survival of this majestic species in the wild, the Arabian oryx has now been downgraded from Endangered to Vulnerable on the IUCN Red List. It also makes history as being the first species once listed as Extinct in the Wild to have improved by three threat categories.
Article continues: http://blog.arkive.org/2011/06/2011-red-list-update/