By Richard Black
Environment Correspondent, BBC News website



Hippos in Virunga National Park.  Image: WWF-Canon/Martin Harvey
A decline in hippo numbers has led to Red List classification

The polar bear and hippopotamus are for the first time listed as species threatened with extinction by the world’s biodiversity agency.

They are included in the Red List of Threatened Species published by the World Conservation Union (IUCN) which names more than 16,000 at-risk species.

Many sharks, and freshwater fish in Europe and Africa, are newly included.

The IUCN says loss of biodiversity is increasing despite a global convention committing governments to stem it.

“The 2006 Red List shows a clear trend; biodiversity loss is increasing, not slowing down,” said IUCN director-general Achim Steiner.

“The implications of this trend for the productivity and resilience of ecosystems and the lives and livelihoods of billions of people who depend on them are far-reaching.”


WHAT ARE THE THREATS?
Human activities threaten 99% of Red List species
Habitat loss and degradation are the main threats, affecting more than 80% of listed birds, mammals and amphibians
Climate change is increasingly recognised as a serious threat
Other issues relating to human activity include introduction of alien species, over-exploitation and pollution

Overall, 16,119 species are included in this year’s Red List, the most detailed and authoritative regular survey of the health of the plant, fungi and animal kingdoms.

This represents more than a third of the total number of species surveyed; the list includes one in three amphibians, a quarter of coniferous trees, and one in four mammals.

1 Comment on Endangered Species

  1. sad.

    i like the hippopotamous

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