Jun 25, 2015

14 species have been moved from the “endangered” category to the “critically endangered

In the most recent update of the International Union for Conservation of Nature's Red List, 14 species have been moved from the "endangered" category to the "critically endangered (possibly extinct)" category. The update illustrates the worldwide crisis facing many species around the globe in the face of habitat loss and degradation.

The IUCN's Red List compiles data and evidence from researchers from all around the world. The list now includes information about 77,340 different species, of which 22,784 are threatened with extinction.

The list of species considered critically endangered now includes ten species of orchids found only in Madagascar, which are threatened by forest loss and illegal collection. Another species is a Magnolia tree, Magnolia emarginata, found only in Haiti, and has lost an estimated 97 percent of its forest habitat in the past century.

Two species of crabs are now considered critically endangered, Karstama balicum andKarstama emdi, which are only found in a single cave in Bali. The crabs are threatened by human activity in the cave, such as tourism and frequent religious ceremonies.

While many species are in dramatic decline, no species have been moved into the "extinct" category. However, this may be due in part to the difficulty of gathering sufficient evidence to prove an species has in fact disappeared. "It takes a long time of gathering negative evidenced before we can say, 'ok, that species has gone'," Craig Hilton-Taylor, head of the IUCN's Red List told New Scientist.

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