To increase awareness of the enormous variety of life on our planet, and raise the profile of threatened species, we have launched the IUCN Red List ‘Amazing Species’. Biodiversity is the backbone of all life on earth, but every day species’ extinctions are continuing at up to 1,000 times or more the natural rate. The extinction of individual species, but also habitat destruction, land conversion for agriculture and development, climate change, pollution and the spread of invasive species are only some of the threats responsible for today's crisis. Following on from 2010’s International Year of Biodiversity, Governments meeting at the 10th Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD COP10) have approved a step change for biodiversity: a new Strategic Plan for the next ten years to reduce the current pressures on the planet’s biodiversity and take urgent action to save and restore nature.“What we’ve decided at this meeting will change the future of life on Earth - and many solutions are available to us,” says Jane Smart, Director of IUCN’s Biodiversity Conservation Group. “We know that targeted conservation action works. Results from the latest Red List show us that the status of biodiversity would have declined by an additional 20 percent at least, if conservation action had not been taken.”
Throughout 2011, a different ‘amazing’ species will be regularly featured on the IUCN website, with information on the threats it faces and any conservation action being undertaken. The species selected represent the entire range of taxonomic groups and cover all regions. Both charismatic and obscure species will be featured, providing an insight into the astonishing level of biodiversity that exists.
This project is a joint project of the IUCN Species Programme and the Species Survival Commission (SSC), with the support of ARKive.
Enquiries: Rachel Roberts
Technical enquiries: Jim Ragle