This Thursday, July 21, the IUCN, the International Union for Conservation of Nature, released its Red List of Threatened Animal Species. It now includes 147,517 species, including 41,459 critically endangered. In this updated list, the migratory monarch butterfly (Danaus plexippus), known for its incredible annual journey of more than 4,000 km across the Americas, falls into this category ” in danger “. The International Union for Conservation of Nature considers it threatened by habitat destruction and climate change.
“Not every species on the planet has been evaluated yet, but the Red List provides a useful glimpse into what is happening to species today and highlights the urgent need for action to conserve.”defines the organization.
“To preserve nature’s rich diversity, we need effective and equitably managed conservation and conservation areas, as well as decisive action to combat climate change and restore ecosystems.Dr Bruno Oberle, Director General of the IUCN commented. In turn, biodiversity conservation supports communities by providing essential services such as food, water, and sustainable jobs. »
Climate change threatens the monarch butterfly
The IUCN states that the migratory monarch butterfly is a subspecies of the monarch butterfly. Danaus plexippus. Indigenous peoples, known to migrate from Mexico and California in winter to summer breeding grounds in the United States and Canada, have declined by between 22% and 72% over the past decade.notes the organization.
Among the reasons put forward to explain its entry into this Red List are legal and illegal logging, and “Deforestation to make way for agriculture and urban development” Installed by IUCN. These factors have already destroyed many of the wintering areas where butterflies live in Mexico and California, “While the insecticides and herbicides used in intensive farming throughout the species’ domain kill butterflies, milkweed, the host plant on which monarch larvae feed”.
This Red List update highlights the fragility of nature’s wonders, such as the unique sight of monarch butterflies migrating thousands of miles.
Another threat to the migratory monarch: climate change. “Drought limits the growth of milkweed and increases the frequency of catastrophic wildfires, extreme temperatures lead to early migrations, before the milkweed is available, while extreme weather events kill millions of butterflies.”writes the IUCN.
Western populations are most at risk, with their numbers declining by about 99.9%, from 10 million butterflies in the 1980s to 1,914 individuals in 2021. The larger eastern population also declined by 84% between 1996 and 2014, according to data provided by the organization. “Whether there are enough butterflies to sustain the population and prevent its extinction remains a concern.”concluded.
Sturgeons, a group of ‘world’s most threatened’ animals
On the other hand, “All sturgeon species are still alive in the northern hemisphere, and they are also migratory, now threatened with extinction due to dams and overfishing. He writes an organization that consists of governments and civil society organizations. These human actions drive this group of animals, “The world most vulnerable, closer to extinction”.
A global reassessment of sturgeon, published Thursday, revealed that 100% of the world’s 26 remaining sturgeon species are now threatened with extinction, compared to 85% in 2009, according to the IUCN. sturgeon lake (Asepenser Dabrianos) have been changed from critically endangered to extinct in the wild, seventeen species are now critically threatened, three are critically endangered, and five are endangered in this new list in red. Reassessment also confirmed the extinction of the Chinese paddlefish (Psephurus gladius).
Famous for its size, beluga (huso huso), “endangered”, sturgeon up to eight meters long and weighing up to 1,700 kilograms, has been overexploited for its meat and caviar for centuries, The IUCN alerted in its press release. Although they are protected under international law, poaching still affects more than half of these species, and stricter enforcement of regulations on the illegal sale of sturgeon and caviar is essential to put an end to further declines. »
The International Union for Conservation of Nature also emphasizes man-made dams, which affect all sturgeon species migrating to their breeding grounds, “While warming rivers due to climate change is further disrupting the reproduction of these fish”.
Is it possible to save them? The IUCN reveals some key measures that can ensure their long-term survival: restoring freshwater ecosystems, building efficient fish corridors, as well as restocking, “Already proven effective with species such as the Adriatic sturgeon (Acipenser nacarii)”which is still nonetheless in ‘Critical risk’.
The number of revalued tigers is on the rise
However, there is good news: the tiger has been reassessed, and new numbers reveal that there are currently between 3,726 and 5,578 tigers in the wild worldwide. And although this reassessment confirms that the tiger is still “in danger” on the red list, “Population trends indicate that projects such as the IUCN Integrated Tiger Habitat Conservation Program are effective and that recovery is possible as long as conservation efforts continue.”the IUCN comments.
This 40% increase since the last tiger assessment in 2015 is due to “Improvements in tracking technologies, showing that there are more tigers than previously thought, and that the number of tigers around the world appears to be stable or increasing”.
Among the main threats to the annual: the poaching of tigers, as well as the hunting of their prey, as well as the fragmentation and destruction of habitats due to the increasing pressures of agriculture and human settlement. “To protect this species, it is essential to expand and link protected areas together, to ensure they are managed effectively and to work with the local communities that live in and around tiger habitats.”organization recommends.
The Red List classifies species into one of eight categories of threat. A total of 147,517 species were assessed in the latest edition, with 41,459 species considered critically endangered: of which 9,065 are critically endangered; 16,094 are at risk and 16,300 are at risk.
Created in 1964, the Red List includes 902 species that are now extinct and 82 that are extinct in the wild.