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Keep driving those SUV's! - More species slated for extinction

 
Johnny Danger
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User ID: 74060
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05/02/2006 08:25 AM
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Keep driving those SUV's! - More species slated for extinction
More species slide to extinction
By Richard Black
Environment Correspondent, BBC News website



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.


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

"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."
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.

Climate and hunting

Polar bears are particularly affected by loss of Arctic ice, which the IUCN attributes to climatic change.

They need ice floes in order to hunt seals and other prey; without it, their food supply will decline. There is also evidence that the snow caves where they raise their young are melting earlier in the year.

Polar bears are listed as Vulnerable to Extinction based on forecasts that their population will decline by 50% to 100% over the next 50 to 100 years.


RED LIST DEFINITIONS
Extinct - Surveys suggest last known individual has died
Critically Endangered - Extreme high risk of extinction
Endangered - Species at very high risk of extinction
Vulnerable - Species at high risk of extinction
Near Threatened - May soon move into above categories
Least Concern - Species is widespread and abundant

In the tropics, the common hippopotamus has entered the Red List for the first time because the population in the Democratic Republic of Congo has declined spectacularly - by about 95% in a decade.
The country's turbulent political situation has allowed unregulated hunting for meat and for the ivory in their teeth.

"Regional conflicts and political instability in some African countries have created hardship for many of the region's inhabitants, and the impact on wildlife has been equally devastating," said IUCN chief scientist Jeffrey McNeely.

The common hippo's decline in DRC has led to a Vulnerable listing even though other African populations including the largest, in Zambia, have held up well.

The much less well known pygmy hippo has suffered from illegal logging and poor protection in several West African nations, leading to an upgrade in its status from Vulnerable to Endangered.

British threats

Included on the Red List for the first time is the black-tailed godwit, a bird familiar to British and European enthusiasts, which gains a Near Threatened classification.

The species returned to Britain in 1952, a century after persecution and habitat drainage made it locally extinct, and now appears to be impacted by habitat changes across Europe.

"It is a bird which we think has to have favourably managed areas in order to survive," said Grahame Madge, a spokesman for the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB).

"It joins two other species found in Britain on the Red List, the corncrake and red kite, which also have a Near Threatened classification," he told the BBC News website.

"But conservation successes mean it is not inconceivable that red kites might be taken from the UK to bolster populations in other European countries."

Marine misery


The desperate situation of many sharks and rays is just the tip of the iceberg
Craig Hilton-Taylor, IUCN

For the first time, this year's Red List includes a comprehensive region-by-region assessment on some groups of marine animals.
It shows that sharks and rays - members of the elasmobranch group of fish - are disappearing at an unprecedented rate across the globe.

About 20% of the 547 species surveyed merit inclusion on the Red List.

Some of these are fish which were once common on dinner plates in the UK and surrounding countries. The angel shark has been declared Extinct in the North Sea and Critically Endangered globally, while the common skate's status has also been upgraded to Critically Endangered.

The IUCN says that with fisheries extending into ever deeper zones of the ocean which are largely unregulated, populations of many species are set to decline sharply.

"The desperate situation of many sharks and rays is just the tip of the iceberg," said Craig Hilton-Taylor of the IUCN Red List Unit.





"It is critical that urgent action to greatly improve management practices and implement conservation measures, such as agreed non-fishing areas, enforced mesh-size regulations and international catch limits is taken before it is too late."
In the Mediterranean, freshwater fish are faring even worse than their sea-going counterparts.

Fifty-six percent of the 252 species endemic to the Mediterranean are threatened with extinction, the IUCN says; while in East Africa, a quarter of freshwater fish are at risk, which could carry important consequences for a human population highly dependent on fish for protein.

Limited success


It is not all doom and gloom. The first optimistic note is that the overall number of species in this Red List is not significantly higher than in the last edition published in November 2004, which numbered 15,589 species on the brink.
The second is that the number of species believed to have gone extinct has also not changed significantly.

The IUCN notes some marked conservation successes among the much more frequent stories of a slide towards oblivion.

The number of white-tailed eagles has soared in many European nations, and the bird's status has been downgraded from Near Threatened to Least Concern.

A recent decision by the Indian government to phase out a veterinary drug which was poisoning the common vulture, causing numbers to fall by 97%, is also cited as a simple measure which can bring great success.

But the overall message is that the number and range of species continues to decline, despite the UN Biodiversity Convention which commits governments to halt the trend by 2010.


Story from BBC NEWS:
[link to news.bbc.co.uk]
Shadow

User ID: 19429
Canada
05/02/2006 08:38 AM
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Re: Keep driving those SUV's! - More species slated for extinction
Morning Luke!

Yesterday a gyrfalcon landed on the tree branch about 8' from my picture window. I was breathless, SO beautifull. he hung around for about 5 minutes and all the little chickadees and blackbirds that swarm our feeders just disappeared.

What a gift. Maybe this will cheer you a bit :)
Over the side and damn the barracuda
Johnny Danger (OP)

User ID: 74060
United States
05/02/2006 08:41 AM
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Re: Keep driving those SUV's! - More species slated for extinction
Thanks Shadow. We got the blue jays, and red breasted Robins and these cool little Yellow and Black Birds: Don't know what they are.

Sad that Man is so selfish they don't care about their environment. That is especially true of Evangelicals, with their fatalist theology.
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 21
United States
05/02/2006 12:40 PM
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Re: Keep driving those SUV's! - More species slated for extinction
OP,

Species have gone extinct ALL the time in Earth's history.To blame it on man's activities, is just more of the bashing of human progress.

If polar bears die out because they can't adapt, --- oh, well !

If you were around 65 million years ago, you would have been organizing protests to "save the dinosaurs".

Give me a break.

God made the Earth for man, not man for the Earth.

I suspect most hardcore environmentalists are atheists.
XXX

User ID: 78738
United States
05/02/2006 12:42 PM
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Re: Keep driving those SUV's! - More species slated for extinction
[God made the Earth for man, not man for the Earth]


God created Earth & told man to take care of it. Not to trash it, moron.


[I suspect most hardcore environmentalists are atheists]


I suspect you're a moron. Moron.
Only morons would think that it's a "good & holy thing" to trash the planet.

Moron.
Waist deep in the Big Muddy
And the big fool says to push on
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 55380
United States
05/02/2006 12:49 PM
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Re: Keep driving those SUV's! - More species slated for extinction
take a user like #21 stuck in the old dying ways and not willing to let go of the past and stupid ideas, his kind are becoming extinct and thats a good thing.
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 58646
United States
05/02/2006 12:51 PM
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Re: Keep driving those SUV's! - More species slated for extinction
MOST FAMILIES WITH LOTS OF KIDS HAVE SUV'S AN MINI VANS...
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 55380
United States
05/02/2006 12:51 PM
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Re: Keep driving those SUV's! - More species slated for extinction
"God made the Earth for man, not man for the Earth."-

this statement alone should tell you his state of mind.
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 3233
United States
05/02/2006 12:59 PM
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Re: Keep driving those SUV's! - More species slated for extinction
I op is a young man that girls dont like . He will never understand the why
in SUV . They are station wagons !!!!! With lotsof room for all the kids .

6 to 8 people get to ride.

MOST FAMILIES WITH LOTS OF KIDS HAVE SUV'S AN MINI VANS
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 21
United States
05/02/2006 04:45 PM
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Re: Keep driving those SUV's! - More species slated for extinction
78738 and 55380,

I never recommended trashing the Earth, it's just that people like you think a squirrel or "endangered" fish should have as many or MORE rights than humans.

You think it's OK for thousands of humans to lose their jobs so certain frogs can "have their habitat maintained".

You are mentally ill individuals to think that way.

You think homo sapiens is actually descended from chimpanzees ( well, maybe you two are ), rather than being a completely different being than the animals of the planet.

And no, I am not a fundamentalist, nor do I think the world was created in 6 days, in fact I believe current scientific estimates of the universe being 12-14 billion years old.

There IS a CREATOR, but he made us to lead and have dominion over the non-sentient animals.

Back to the original subject, polar bears MUST adapt to current conditions, or die out. It is not our responsibility to "save" their habitat, no PREVENT all species from becoming extinct.God has a plan.
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 21
United States
05/02/2006 04:51 PM
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Re: Keep driving those SUV's! - More species slated for extinction
Also, driving SUV's has NOTHING to do with polar bears on ice floes.

The earth has gone through MANY warm periods, and ice ages in its history.This is primarily due to variations in the sun's output of energy, along with occasional perturbations in the axial tilt.

Only the self-loathing, wild-eyed shrieking loonies like Al Gore, think everything is man's fault.

Sea level will NOT rise thirty feet in the next century, so you scare mongers better knock it off.

Global warming is a laugh, compared to the REAL danger to our survival presented by radical Islamic states.

Grow up.
Johnny Danger (nli) (OP)
User ID: 74060
United States
05/02/2006 05:13 PM
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Re: Keep driving those SUV's! - More species slated for extinction
Also, driving SUV's has NOTHING to do with polar bears on ice floes.

HA! One day you may wake up and it's Man who's extinct!

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