News Release

Extinction crisis continues apace

03 November 2009
Kihansi Spray Toad (Nectophrynoides asperginis) Extinct in the Wild. Photo © Tim Herman.

The latest update of the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species™ shows that 17,291 species out of the 47,677 assessed species are threatened with extinction.

The results confirm that 21% of all known mammals, 30% of all known amphibians, 12 per cent of all known birds and 32% of all known gymnosperms (conifers and cycads) are threatened with extinction. Results for other species-groups that have not yet been comprehensively assessed such as freshwater fishes and dragonflies, indicate similar high levels of threat.

“The scientific evidence of a serious extinction crisis is mounting,” says Jane Smart, Director of IUCN’s Biodiversity Conservation Group. “January sees the launch of the International Year of Biodiversity. The latest analysis of the IUCN Red List shows the 2010 target to reduce biodiversity loss will not be met. It’s time for Governments to start getting serious about saving species and make sure it’s high on their agendas for next year, as we’re rapidly running out of time.”

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