The Red Barren
According to a new “red list” released today by the World Conservation Union (IUCN), 11,046 plants and animals worldwide are at risk of extinction, up by more than 200 species from the last time the list was updated, four years ago. This includes 24 percent of mammal species and 12 percent of bird species. And the IUCN cautions that its list may represent only a fraction of the number of species truly at risk because many species have yet to be discovered by scientists. Habitat loss is a factor in roughly 90 percent of the endangered listings. The IUCN also pointed to three other growing threats: the “bush meat” trade in Africa and Asia, which endangers primates; the longline fishing industry, which threatens 13 species of albatross; and the poaching of turtles and other reptiles for use in traditional Asian medicines.