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The key-figure: 30,000

That’s the number of plant and animal species threatened among 110,000 inventoried by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (UICN).

L’esturgeon européen

The inventory, which was updated before its presentation to the COP25, contained both good and bad news. The situation of 73 species has deteriorated whereas the populations of 10 animal species – fish and birds – have increased, thanks to the conservation efforts made (breeding in captivity and then release into the wild). Nature can therefore restore itself and this capacity for life to adapt and be resilient is exceptional!

Crisis of the biodiversity

Les éphémères

Nonetheless, biodiversity is undergoing an unprecedented crisis. The chief threats are linked to human activities: logging, urbanisation, intensive agriculture, etc. Climate change represents another threat.

Thus, following hurricane Maria in 2017, the population of the imperial parrot, a bird of the island of Saint Dominica, fell to only 50 individuals living in the wild. The red list also revealed that 37% of Australia’s freshwater fish species are threatened with extinction, of which half directly due to climate change.

Exotic invasive species, a new threat

Exotic invasive species are another cause for the erosion of biodiversity, a threat that is worsening with the globalisation of trade. Furthermore, the IUCN’s red list shows that they threaten 32% of birds, 30% of amphibians, 20% of reptiles, 17% of land mammals and 15% of molluscs in the categories of threatened species. They are therefore another burden that threatened species around the world have to face.

Besides their ecological impact, these invasive exotic species have tangible economic and health impacts that have not been evaluated as yet.

Photos credits: UICN

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