Tuesday, November 4, 2008

International Union for Conservation of Nature launches RED DATA List for 2008.
The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has launched its Red Data List of 2008 on the 10th of Oct 2008 and includes amongst other, a total of 49 species of Indian mammals that have been incorporated as those facing extreme levels of danger from problems ranging from poaching, habitat destruction and alteration and pollution.
The systematic list includes over 124 Indian mammals that have placed under various categories of which 10 have been included as Critically Endangered, 39 species as Endangered, 48 species are Vulnerable for extinction and 29 species are showing sharp decline in population. Almost 16 species of mammals included in the list are from the Western Ghats of India which includes the protected areas and forests of Goa. The List includes mammals like the Tiger, leopard, Dhole (wild dog) and Sambar amongst other, all of which have a presence in the states forests.
The International Union for Conservation of Nature Red List of Threatened Species has been established as the world’s most comprehensive information source on the global conservation status of plant and animal species and is based on an objective system of assessing the risk of extinction of a species. The species are thus listed as Critically Endangered, Endangered or Vulnerable and are collectively known as Threatened.
The Red List of Threatened Species is compiled by some of the world’s leading scientists and the 2008 List has assessed almost 44,837 species of which over 38 percent have been acknowledged as Threatened under one or the other categories mentioned above.
The main objectives of the IUCN List are to identify and document those species most in need of conservation attention for reduction in global extinction rates and to provide a global index of state of change of biodiversity
Besides being a Wake Up call for Governments across the world, The Red Data list is also used by the scientific community and policy makers alike for conservation related issues and policy making.
The 2008 List is of great significance on a local level for the state of Goa as species like the Leopard (Panthera pardus) found in the state has been included as a Near Threatened species, while the Sambar ( Rusa unicolor) found across all our Protected areas has been included as a Vulnerable species besides other species. There is thus a need to for the State Government to identify and protect habitats of these species on a urgent basis and create awareness about their presence in the state as these species are not only a state or national treasure but part of a global heritage along with the forests they inhabit i.e. the Western Ghats. The Red List also acknowledges the fact that most of the land mammals identified are from the Western Ghats that have high rate of endemism and a rich biodiversity but are threatened due to various forms of human activity.
For more details log on to www.iucn.org/redlist

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