Nearly 200 species added to World Conservation Union’s Red List
The World Conservation Union has added 188 animals and plants to its Red List, a tally of the flora and fauna most threatened with extinction. The additions bring the depressing total up to 16,306 species — and that’s a low estimate. Ten Galapagos Island coral species joined their endangered brethren on the list for the first time; the African lowland gorilla (it of our favorite species name, Gorilla gorilla gorilla) moved from endangered to critically endangered. While 70 percent of assessed plants are on the Red List, only one species was declared officially extinct: the woolly-stalked begonia, which was last seen in 1898. The conservation group estimates that extinction rates would be 100 to 1,000 times slower if humans weren’t around to screw things up. But let’s focus on the positive: the Mauritius echo parakeet moved from critically endangered to endangered, and was the only species to see its status improve.