Thursday, September 13, 2007

Expanding endangered species list

The International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources has just released the updated Red List of Threatened Species. This is the international version of the endangered species list and this year "41,415 species on the IUCN Red List and 16,306 of them are threatened with extinction, up from 16,118 last year. The total number of extinct species has reached 785 and a further 65 are only found in captivity or in cultivation" (from the press release).

Currently in the United States, 1351 plants animals are listed as threatened or endangered (from the Summary list of Endangered Species). This past week, the USGS released information on a study on the effects of decreasing sea ice on polar bear. The press release states that "future reduction of sea ice in the Arctic could result in a loss of 2/3 of the world's polar bear population within 50 years according to a series of studies released today by the U.S. Geological Survey."

Want to more discussion? Read or listen to NPR's "'Red List' Sheds Light on Species Extinction Crisis."

Want more information on Endangered Species? Check out the library's guide.

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