Wednesday, September 12, 2007

The death of birth

[Gorillas and orangutans] are perhaps the most charismatic creatures on this year's Red List, but the fact they are in trouble has been known for some years. Perhaps more surprising are some of the new additions.

"This is the first time we've assessed corals, and it's a bit worrying because some of them moved straight from being not assessed to being possibly extinct," said Jean-Christophe Vie, deputy head of IUCN's species programme.

"We know that some species were there in years gone by, but now when we do the assessment they are not there. And corals are like the trees in the forest; they build the ecosystem for fish and other animals."

IUCN is now embarking on a complete assessment of coral species, and expects to find that about 30% to 40% are threatened.
-- from Gorillas head race to extinction by Richard Black.

Banggai cardinalfish and humphead parrotfish: two of the reef-dependent species that have been Red-Listed.

IUCN's assessment is that "climate change is important for many Red List species; but it is not the only threat, and not the most important threat".

[See also Nasty, brutish and very long.]

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