The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) on Monday released an updated red list classifying the different species.
What are the red list categories and what is it for?
According to their website,the IUCN Red List Categories are intended to be an easily and widely understood system for classifying species at high risk of global extinction.
The categories are:
EXTINCT — the last individual in the species has died.
EXTINCT IN THE WILD — it now lives only in captivity and not in its natural habitat.
CRITICALLY ENDANGERED — facing an extremely high risk of extinction in the wild.
ENDANGERED — facing a very high risk of extinction in the wild.
VULNERABLE — facing a high risk of extinction in the wild.
NEAR THREATENED — likely to qualify for a threatened category in the near future.
LEAST CONCERN — it is widespread and abuntant in the wild.
DATA DEFICIENT — inadequate information.
NOT EVALUATED — not yet been evaluated against the criteria.
(With inputs from Aswathi Pacha)
The Finless Porpoise (Neophocaena asiaeorientalis) has been moved from Vulnerable to Endangered category. Its number has become almost half over the past 45 years. Accidental entanglement in fishing nets is the main cause of its decline.
Blue-tailed Skink (Cryptoblepharus egeriae) of Christmas Island, Australia has gone extinct in the wild. Diseases and changes in inland ecology are the main causes.
Kikuzato’s Stream Snake (Opisthotropis kikuzatoi), endemic to Kumejima Island and the rarest of all snakes in Japan is now listed critically endangered. This species declined dramatically over the past 15 years due to predation by invasive species.
Christmas Island Forest-skink (Emoia nativitatis) is now extinct in the wild. The reason for their decline remains unclear, though predation by the invasive Wolf Snake introduced to the island in the mid-1980s may be to blame.
Irrawaddy Dolphin (Orcaella brevirostris) has moved from vulnerable to endangered category. In the Mekong River, the majority of Irrawaddy Dolphin deaths in recent years have been caused by entanglement in gillnets ̶ ‘curtains’ of fishing net that hang in the water.
Okarito Kiwi (Apteryx rowi) and the Northern Brown Kiwi (Apteryx mantelli) of New Zealand has move down from endangered to vulnerable. Both species of Kiwi have been facing threats including habitat loss and predation by introduced mammals. Government and community conservation efforts on predator control, and removing and incubating eggs for release into the wild has helped save the two species.
Western Ringtail Possum (Pseudocheirus occidentalis), has moved from vulnerable to critically endangered due to a fall in species numbers by over 80% in the past ten years. Australia’s increasingly dry and hot climate has led to their dramatic decline.
Lister’s Gecko (Lepidodactylus listeri) native to Australia has gone extinct in the wild. Predation and lack of immunity to novel diseases are the main cause of their decline.