Publications

The Mediterranean: A Biodiversity Hotspot Under Threat

"The Mediterranean basin is recognised as a biodiversity hotspot: its flora diversity is outstanding with 15,000 to 25,000 species, 60% of which are unique to the region. About one third of the Mediterranean fauna is endemic". Chapter included in the publication: Wildlife in a changing World. An analysis of the 2008 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.

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Mammals

                        

“The number one threat is habitat destruction, which affects 90 percent of the threatened species,” says IUCN’s Annabelle Cuttelod, co-author of the report. “We need international action to protect key areas and preserve natural habitats to ensure we don’t lose the rich biodiversity in this area.”

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Dragonflies and Damselflies

“It is likely things will only get worse for these unique species as climate change and increased water demand take their toll,” says Jean Pierre Boudot, member of the IUCN Dragonfly Specialist Group and co-author of the report. “Lower levels of precipitation and drought will lead to degradation of the habitats where the majority of dragonflies and damselflies live.”

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Sharks, Rays and Chimaeras

From devil rays to angel sharks, Mediterranean populations of these vulnerable species are in serious trouble,” said Claudine Gibson, Programme Officer for the IUCN Shark Specialist Group and co-author of the report. “Our analyses reveal the Mediterranean Sea as one of the world’s most dangerous places on Earth for sharks and rays. Bottom dwelling species appear to be at greatest risk in this region, due mainly to intense fishing of the seabed.”

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Download the fact sheet in English and Spanish.

Endemic Freshwater Fish

“Freshwater fish are indicators of the health of our freshwater ecosystems. The assessment provides the best possible scientific consensus concerning the species' status in the Mediterranean. This report will help prioritise sites to be included in regional research programmes, and identify internationally important sites for biodiversity”, comments Jamie Skinner, ex-Director of the IUCN Centre for Mediterranean Cooperation."

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Download the fact sheet in English and Spanish.

Amphibians and Reptiles

"There are 355 species of reptiles in the Mediterranean region (excluding marine turtles). Most of them are snakes or lizards, although the group of reptiles also includes crocodiles and tortoises. The arid and semi-arid habitats found in the Mediterranean region are an ideal habitat for these species, and almost half (48%) of them are endemic" according to the report.

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Download the fact sheet of amphibians in English and Spanish.

Download the fact sheet of reptiles in English and Spanish.

Top 50 Island Plants

“Protected areas are an important tool in conserving entire ecological communities, not just the Top 50 species,” says Bertrand de Montmollin, Chair of the Mediterranean Island Plant Specialist Group of IUCN’s Species Survival Commission. “However, monitoring the conservation status of specific species can serve as an indicator for how well we are managing these areas.”

Click here to download this report in English, Spanish, French and Greek.

Download the fact sheet in English and Spanish.

Click here to check the distribution of the Top 50 Mediterranean Island Plants on Google Earth