One Quarter of World's Mammals Are Threatened With Extinction

By Eliza Strickland | October 6, 2008 10:15 am

endangered mammalsAn international group of researchers has issued a dire warning about the state of the world’s wild animals. A new report from the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) lists one in four land mammals as endangered, as well as one in three marine mammals. Life on Earth is disappearing fast with man inflicting most of the damage…. On land more species face oblivion because of loss of habitat, hunting and climate change while in the oceans pollution and the side effects of fishing are taking a huge toll [Telegraph].

The new assessment — which took 1,700 experts in 130 countries a total of five years to complete — paints “a bleak picture,” leaders of the project wrote in a paper being published in the journal Science. The overview … covers all 5,487 wild species identified since 1500. It is the most thorough tally of land and marine mammals since 1996 [Washington Post].

The IUCN’s Red List of Threatened Species lists 29 species that have been flagged as possibly extinct; that group includes animals like Cuba’s little earth hutia, a small rodent that hasn’t been spotted in the wild in almost 40 years. There are 188 mammals in the critically endangered category, including the Iberian lynx; only about 100 adult Iberian lynxes remain in the wild. The next threat category, endangered species, includes almost 450 species, including the Tasmanian devil, which has lost 60 percent of its population in the past decade due to an infectious face cancer.

The estimate that one-quarter of mammalian species overall are threatened may be an under-estimate, the authors caution, as there is not enough data to make an assessment in more than 800 cases. The true figure could be nearer to one-third [BBC News].

Images: IUCN

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CATEGORIZED UNDER: Environment, Living World
  • D4devil

    Unbelievable,is mankind sleepng or wat???
    1 in 4 mammals dat v c is gona get extnct,n nt only this in few years if this’d b the conditn then definitely v r going 2 luz remaining living world,nt only mammals bt othr livng beings,reptiles & birds r in danger

  • Jason Usborne

    Yes, sir. mankind is asleep. And the sleep-herders are short-handed. Which is fine. Perhaps now is the time for reaping. Time to exit babylon system. Form cadres of 50-500 people, move to wilderness, be self-sufficient.

    I still love this planet, but I have mixed feelings for our species. It’s been a blast to be able to incarnate here. I am sure I still have more to learn.

  • http://hotmail Jude

    This is absolutely unacceptable to see how we’re distroying our planet. Even if we don’t want to solve some urgent threats for animals on earth, sooner or later, we’ll be the next. This planet is unsuitable for humans without animals.

    We’re blind to become rich, doing what ever it takes to get to that stage, while terminating our own land, earth. I beleive, people all around the world have to get together to face world leaders through these issues like global warming, deforestation, pollution, etc etc…If we don’t take action for others, we’re next.

  • casey

    well im with the three of you but we dont need to go to the forest and live we just need to get a big ark and get two of every living avalable mammal and animal on it and just raise them up and keep doing it til’ we have enough to make a new kind of population of them.-if its posible…lol

  • Paradox

    What we need to do is to stop worrying so much about these completely arbitrary human-created concepts of money and ‘wealth’ and start dealing with the solid problems that are occurring in the ONLY thing that has always co-existed with us since we made the climb out of the primordial ooze, the planet around us.

    We’re all so concerned about the crash on Wall St and with the possible economic repercussions of that world wide, but in reality, what is money going to matter when eventually the Earth itself cracks it and decides that we’re no longer worth supporting? We need to get our priorities straight as a species, and until we reach the critical mass of people who actually care, nothing is going to get done. Sad really.

  • T

    … this is silly, im sorry, but global warming isnt entirely all our fault. oh im still saying that we are helping but that its all our fault is a travesty. one volcanic eruption creates just as much emission gas as the whole of north america in a year! and there are dozens of eruptions a year. the planet is warming my personal belief is it is coming from multiple sources, some of which we cannot control. global warming is mostly political its just to get votes. those new long lasting light bulbs are poisonous to the earth, far more so than the original lightbulb. David suzukie or however you spell his name, has never done a day of research in his life, Al Gore has pulled wool over our eyes with that movie, that graph, its called a hockey bar graph, no matter what information you put on it the bar graph will look essentially the same, and if you look closely, the temperature increases first THEN the carbon content in the atmosphere increases, because the increased temperature allows more carbon to exist in a gases state within the atmosphere. I am saying we need to clean up the planet i am saying we need to stop urban sprawl i am saying we need to save the rainforest and the grasslands and the animals plants birds and bees, we need to stop dumping garbage into the oceans and recycle every single little piece we can! every country does it, and it needs to stop. no more coal no more oil! because you are taking carbon that has been out of the atmospheric cycle for millenia then putting it back into the atmosphere, and when all of it is in the atmosphere guess what happens. we die. guess who doesnt die. the bugs. their primative lung style would allow them to grow large again like the era before dinosaurs. that is speculation on my part, but it is proven the bugs would survive such an atmosphere. we need to pick up all the nuclear weapons and bombs and nuclear cores we’ve dumped onto the ocean floor. did you know that methane is actually 15 times worse for the heating of the planet than carbon? but i dont see us killing off millions of cows do i. no because its all about profit isnt it. the government is fat lazy and corrupt. renewable energy is a joke wind turbines kill off the bird population. solar power is pathetic and unreliable. hydrogen costs about 2 gallons of oil to make one gallon of hydrogen. biofuels are also by far to dangerous to use because we either plow down all the wilderness to make fields for growing corn or we chew up the wilderness and use it to make biofuel! the vicious cycle is unending simple because the rules and regulations in place made by the government serve the government not the people or the planet. the best answer is to destroy all of mankind. since that wont happen we need to endeavor to control WORLD population and industry, get rid of the wasteful economy of the world, we need to build up and down below the ground so that we no longer build around us and expand. we could build underground hydroponics so that the forest and nature can continue above us. we may be the smartest creatures on the planet but we are also the most stupid and destructive. until we stop wasting stop polluting and start the education of our people, our people meaning our species not just race religion or clan, we will be no better than the viruses on this planet. Socialists. they do not understand that for every consumer there needs to be a producer. they want everything for everyone, which cannot come true. every person has a right to a roof over there head and food to eat. i agree to that. everything else is up to that person to attain for themselves! drive and ambition to become better than who and what they are. socialists have a … problem with reality, the believe everyone should be winners. but in nature there are always winners and losers. natural selection, but in todays world with a twist, the person who works harder and faster will make more money than the one who works slow because one does a better job. socialism political correctivism and trade unions were made by stalin and are a by product of communism. everyone must work and contribute, living on the street is not an option, i believe in the rights of man and woman. i do. but, every person should be a productive member of society. bums dont, they are giving free money, and free homes, they dont have to work for anything, and that is wrong. they are parasites, and there numbers grow. they do not provide any service or product other than filth and crime. i have solutions to many problems and ideas how to clean the earth and i have thoughts on the way governments need to be changed in order to make the government for the people and the earth. living in the forest pfft that is insane, that is asking us to forsake technology, our very way of life, it would not work, these people barely know how to exist in the world as it is, and the environment is no longer able to support the number of us that their is, which is why we made these artificial constructs to house us. in order for that to work we would need to kill off about 80% of the earths population, and then allow about a century to go by so that the environment and animal numbers can stabilize, and even then we would need to have cleaned almost all of our pollution out of the air and water. that is irrational illogical and highly inadvised. And you mister Paradox do you listen to yourself when you speak? i have to admit some of it is alright but, this “wealth” this “money” is the only reason we have anything we do today and is the only reason you can say the things you do. Mankinds urge is to get what he doesnt have. simple, its our nature. and you up there with the “Ark”, unfortunately you are asking us to build a mythological construct that there is no proof ever existed and that we could not concevably build within the next hundred years, im sorry but… put down Noah’s Ark, and try reading a different book, perhaps harry potter. Jude, bravo most of what you said is true, unfortunately most people are sheep. mostly threw ignorance they prance about going threw their lives the way they always did. it doesnt affect them so they dont care, simple as that, the aquisition of wealth is a key point in the way we live and think. its always going to happen and not much we can do about it. we need radical government change.

  • D. Means

    The problem with all that lies explicitly with humanity. If we as a whole pumped some effort into energy production and food production like we pump oil and fuel into our cars, we would be in a lot better shape, right now. There needs to be a massive infusion of time, money and labor into the food and agriculture industries, or else we all, humans included, will surely go extinct. Right now we totter on the brink of saving the world with our technology, or destroying the world with it. Personally, I believe that we are past the point of no return.
    Most people don’t realize that, as more species die off, more species face starvation and death, due to disease, and lack of food. With Climate change, comes mass extinction, as we already know from the dinosaurs. All it takes, is a trip to the natural history museum, to see where we as a whole of humanity, are headed. If we do not act swiftly and decisively with changing our lifestyles, and our mindsets, we will surely be the next species to become a part of the endangered species list. After all, the dinosaurs were far more adapted to survival than humans will ever be. We are a weak species. The only thing that makes us able to survive the the upcoming exodus, is the fact that we have our technology to save us, or kill us. Right now we have the technology to save us, but unfortunately, our governments have been waiting for the opportune time to make it profitable, instead of forcing their will like they have done so so many times before, in less critical situations, to enforce the regulations they thought were important. If fuel burning vehicles were banned from production, such as vehicles without emission controls,the industries would adapt to accommodate a fuel-less mode of transportation. If the power companies were forced to install clean power sources on all homes, instead of wires from dirty energy sources, we would not be in the energy crisis we face today. If fisherman were forced to raise fisheries to replace the fish they caught, the worlds oceans would not be so depleted from overfishing. If manufacturers of goods were forced to recycle everything they sold, or offer some incentive for the return of empty containers, we would not have the overfilled landfills and island of trash floating in the Pacific ocean. So, it all comes down to the lack of governments regulations and oversight, and also to the mentality that everything must be profitable to make it worth our time to do, that have put us into this mess we are in today.

  • Brian

    All posters: If you want me to read your thoughts, please use paragraphs. Facing an uninterrupted stream of consciousness that goes on for several pages, makes me want to give up. And I did.

    It’s not too much to ask. Really.


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