Weekly 5ive - Emerged from the endangered list
A few weeks ago the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) announced good news namely that the official status of the giant panda has been changed from ‘endangered' to ‘vulnerable’. In 1980 the population only added up to 1000 adult pandas, and now thanks to the efforts made by the Chinese government to conserve this species the number increased to 3900.
The change was published as part of an update of IUCN’s ‘Red List’ (Red List of Threatened Species). Red List is a world standard since 1994 and determines the extinction risk of thousands of plants and animals species.
Here are some other animals that have been brought back from the edge of extinction:
1. Tibetan antelope
The Tibetan antelope or ‘chiru’ (Pantholops hodgsonii) are bovid and are mostly found in China, Tibet, native on the Qinghai - Tibet Plateau. They became endangered because of poaching. Its fur and horns were jackpots for hunters. By the beginning of the early 2000s merely 70.000 adult antelopes had been registered out of the 500.000 living wild before. Because of the necessary measures taken to protect Tibetan antelopes from extinction the numbers started to rise. As a result, the species gained the ‘vulnerable’ status on the List.
Picture from wikimedia.org
2. Oregon chub
The Oregon chub (Oregonichthys crameri) is the first fish in the world to emerge from the endangered status. Its a native of the Willamette River in Oregon, USA swimming in shallow water. Hydrology changes, constructed dams and channels and the appearance of non-native fish species disrupted the natural environment. The chub was listed endangered in 1993 and reached a better position on the List in 2010.
Picture from flickr.com
3. Amur tiger
Amur tiger (Panthera tigris altaica) has the largest body among felines. Its natural occurrence is in Russia. In the 1930s only 40 animals remained alive because of poaching. The Russian Government regulated hunting by decree so that the population can start its rehabilitation. According to a 2005 survey, currently there are 360 tigers in the wilderness and some individuals may have reached the Chinese border. Amur tiger was removed from critically endangered to endangered in 2007 on the Red List. Unfortunately, poaching and low genetic diversity is still a challenge the species needs to face.
4. Brown pelican
Brown pelican (Pelecanus occidentalis): these birds live in the shoreline of California, USA, the Galapagos Islands and the Gulf of Mexico. After World War II pelicans ate so much of the pesticide (DDT) used along the shore that adult birds were not able to select enough calcium for eggshells. Consequently, the number of the population living freely drastically decreased. By the 1970s brown pelicans had nearly disappeared. Currently, the species is threatened by the rising water-level that abolishes their natural habitat.
5. Humpback whales
Humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae): The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration removed humpback whales from the endangered list because the population seemed to had recovered from the decrease in the number of individuals. These mammals can be up to 12–16 m (39–52 ft) in length and weigh around 36,000 kg (79,000 lb). Males are known of their impressive mating song. Whales had been poached for their fat and flesh sold dearly on the global market. In recent decades population increased by 4-7% and is no longer considered endangered. The IUCN estimates that the current total population counts 60 thousand whales in the world.
Biodiversity embodies the variability of species and unites the specifics of the flora and fauna. Mankind is part of Nature created to cooperate with it not to be superior to it. Coexistence happens when respect turns to oneself and to the environment at the same time. Our role lies in making the world a better place to live for the next generations to come.