A review of the Red List of Threatened Species, drawn up by ICUN, has found that despite conservation efforts more animals are in danger of extinction than ever before. The latest global assessment of threatened species by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has revealed that 25% of mammals are at risk of extinction.
The report reassessed several rhino groups and found that no black rhinos remain in west Africa, classifying the subspecies as extinct. The northern white rhino subspecies in central Africa was also classified as on the brink of extinction, while the Javan rhino was recently declared extinct in Vietnam, with only a small population left in Indonesia. Although overall rhino numbers have been rising, certain subspecies are suffering due to their vulnerability to poachers after their valuable horns.
The assessment also focused on threatened species in Madagascar and found that 40% of terrestrial reptiles on the island are endangered. Nonetheless, the report did contain some success stories, with the reintroduction of the Prezealski’s horse into the wild – a species that was classified as extinct in the wild in 1996, but whose population has been regrown in captivity – but the overall trend of the report is decline in biodiversity. Conservation, awareness and education remains as vital as ever.