Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Every 1 in 6 Threatened in Europe

Nearly one in six (15%) of every animal species in Europe is threatened for extinction. The World Conservation Union (IUCN) carried out the assessment of all European mammals. Besides that every 1 of 6 are threatened for extinction, it was found that more than a quarter of all populations are declining. Of Europe's marine mammals, 22% are classified as threatened by extinction. Also, 13% of all European birds are threatened with extinction. These numbers are likely to be higher because 44% of all species were classified as "data deficient" which means that all of the necessary data could not be collected. Of those threatened species, the Iberian Lynx and the Mediterranean Monk Seal are at the top of the list as critically endangered, both of which reside in Europe. The Arctic Fox and European mink are also a concern, along with the other two critically endangered species. Only 8%, although better than no percent, of all of the mammals were observed to be on an increasing trend in population numbers. The European Bison is one that has come back from the brink of extinction, with its last members saved in zoos and then re-introduced into their environments.

Along with many other areas of the world the main cause for the decline in population numbers is because of habitat loss and destruction, whether it be deforestation or wetland drainage. The second largest cause is pollution and the third is from over-harvesting. For marine species, the biggest cause of population loss is because of pollution and accidents (ship collisions). Environment Commissioner Stavros Dimas said that Europe needs to decrease the level of biodiversity loss and create better methods for protecting their threatened and endangered species, along with all of their species overall.


1 comment:

  1. Although news like this is discouraging, awareness is also the first step to taking actions to conserve biodiversity. Zoos are likely to play a role in conservation of some species, but there may also be opportunities for public education on things that can be done to make a difference. In some cases, perhaps changes in land practices could make a difference.