At the UN climate conference in Dubai on Monday, the International Union for Conservation of Nature—the primary global biodiversity tracker—released their updated Red List of Threatened Species.
An worldwide body that monitors the health of species claims that climate change is exacerbating the planet’s biodiversity crises, increasing the risk of extinction for thousands of species, and hastening the sharp fall in the number of plants and animals on Earth.
Salmon and turtle species are among those that are in decline due to global warming.
Although the population of Atlantic salmon isn’t in danger of becoming extinct just yet, it did decline by about 25% between 2006 and 2020, according to data released on Monday by the International Union for Conservation of Nature, an organization that monitors biodiversity worldwide. It’s currently regarded as being in danger. They are less mobile and must contend with problems caused by humans, such as water pollution and dams. The group claims that fish are finding it more difficult to acquire food due to climate change, while alien species are finding it easier to compete. Though there are some encouraging signs: this past year saw a slight increase in their numbers in Maine.
The announcement was made on Monday during the UN climate conference in the United Arab Emirates. The Red List of Threatened Species, which tracks biodiversity worldwide, was updated by IUCN leaders. Most of it was bad news. There are 157,000 species listed on the list, around 7,000 more than in the previous year’s update.
A little over 44,000 species, according to the IUCN, are endangered. About 2,000 more than there were the previous year.
“Species are facing extreme pressure worldwide. Thus, it appears like there are more and more threatened species everywhere you look, according to Craig Hilton-Taylor, the IUCN’s head of the Red List division.
About 6,700 species are at risk of extinction, and their circumstances are getting worse due to climate change.
For example, climate change puts the green turtles of the East and Central Pacific at greater risk. As nests are inundated by higher waters, fewer turtles hatch. Seagrasses, its primary food source, may be harmed by warming seas.
The first comprehensive evaluation of the state of freshwater fish species’ health is included in the update. Just over 3,000 species, or 25% of all species, are at risk of going extinct. For example, salt water is ascending rivers farther due to climate change’s rise in sea levels. Furthermore, the IUCN stated that pollution and overfishing already pose serious dangers to these species.
The most harmed animals are amphibians, including frogs and salamanders. Of these species, 41% are threatened.
According to Vivek Menon, deputy chair of the IUCN’s species survival panel, “they are climate captives because of higher temperatures, drought—whatever happens, amphibians cannot move out of harm’s way and are directly impacted by climate change.”
There was some positive news. Though they still have a ways to go before their long-term survival is stabilized, two antelope species are faring better. For instance, the light-colored, curved-horned scimitar-horned oryx was formerly thought to be extinct in the wild, yet it is currently listed as endangered. Numerous hazards threatened it: automobile accidents, drought, and poaching all contributed to the species’ near extinction by the turn of the century. On a sizable nature reserve, there are currently at least 140 adults and more than twice as many calves, thanks to recent successful attempts to restore the species in Chad.
Humans must take action to preserve biodiversity, according to IUCN Director-General Grethel Aguilar, and effective conservation is possible when done correctly. She claimed that fossil fuels must be phased out in order to counter the threat that climate change poses.
“Let us help nature back; it is here to assist us,” she said.