700 New Species Are Now Facing Extinction, Conservation Group Warns

Close up of Dugong or seacow (Dugong dugon) feeding on the seagrass in the bay of Abu Dhabab in Marsa Alam, Egypt

Photo: Getty Images

The International Union for Conservation of Nature announced it is adding an additional 3,000 species to its Red List of Threatened Species. Of those additions, 700 are facing the threat of extinction.

Overall, there are more than 150,000 species on the list, and over 42,000 are threatened with extinction.

In a press release, the IUCN highlighted the plight of the dugong, a large herbivorous marine mammal that is related to manatees. There are just over 1,000 left in the wild, and they are being threatened by boat injuries, poaching, and unintentional capture in fishing gear.

In addition, 44% of all abalone shellfish species are also facing a threat of extinction due to unsustainable extraction and poaching.

“Today’s IUCN Red List update reveals a perfect storm of unsustainable human activity decimating marine life around the globe. As the world looks to the ongoing UN biodiversity conference to set the course for nature recovery, we simply cannot afford to fail,” said Dr. Bruno Oberle, IUCN Director General. “We urgently need to address the linked climate and biodiversity crises, with profound changes to our economic systems, or we risk losing the crucial benefits the oceans provide us with.”

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