New IUCN Red List Shows Both Good and Bad News

Share This Post:
The Okapi is Photo Credits:  Some rights reserved by phileole via Flickr.

The Okapi is undergoing a steady decline, the IUCN reports in its new Red List. Photo Credits: Some rights reserved by phileole via Flickr.

The IUCN has updated its Red List of Threatened Species for the second time this year and revealed species which showed signs of recovery as well as those newly threatened with extinction.

According to the latest update more than 71,000 species have been assessed, over 21,000 of which are under the threat of extinction. Some of the species highlighted in the release are:

RecoveringIsland Fox


Four subspecies of the Island Fox in southern California have experienced heavy population declines in the mid-1990s. But thanks to aggressive recovery actions such as vaccination and captive breeding, all four subspecies have since recovered or are approaching recovery. The IUCN reports an increase in the total population of mature individuals and above 85% annual survival rates.

Recovering: Black-browed Albatross and Black footed Albatross


Both species have been downlisted from Vulnerable to Near Threatened due to increases in their populations. The Black-browed Albatross is mainly threatened by longline and trawl fisheries in the South Atlantic. The Black footed Albatross recovered from its decline due to feather and egg collecting but is newly threatened from interactions with drift-nets in the North Pacific. Other threats include potential loss to breeding colonies from rising sea levels and storm surges.

Recovering:  Leatherback Turtle 


Increase in the global populations of the Leatherback turtle made it rebound from Critically Endangered to Vulnerable. Further assessments based on past, present, and future abundance predict that the global Leatherback population over three generations will disqualify it for IUCN threat categories by 2020 and will continue increasing by 2030 and beyond. While the news give Leatherback lovers and conservationists reasons to rejoice, the IUCN cautions that future population increases depend on the success of present conservation actions. Current and future threats to its breeding and foraging areas need to be continually mitigated. Additionally, targeted conservation efforts are needed to protect some Leatherback subpopulations (West and East Pacific) which are in severe decline.

Declining: Okapi


The Okapi is a national symbol of Congo, where it is a native species. The IUCN lists it as regionally extinct in Uganda and reports it as undergoing a steady decline since 1995. Habitat loss due to logging and illegal human settlement in protected areas threaten the okapi. The presence of illegally armed groups in key protected areas also prevent effective conservation actions.

Declining: White winged Flufftail


This small, secretive bird is the latest to join the Red List of endangered winged species. The white winged flufftail can be found in Ethiopia, Zimbabwe, and South Africa. Its marsh habitats are threatened by drainage, flooding, erosion, and others. Development pressure from the mining industry is the primary threat to this species in its South Africa habitats.

The new Red List brings both good news and bad news from which future conservation efforts can learn, says Jane Smart, Global Director of the IUCN Biodiversity Conservation group. She says, “This IUCN Red List update shows some fantastic conservation successes, which we must learn from, for future conservation efforts… However, the overall message remains bleak. With each update, whilst we see some species improving in status, there is a significantly larger number of species appearing in the threatened categories. The world must urgently scale up efforts to avert this devastating trend.”

Estel M.
About Estel M. (339 Posts)

Estel Grace Masangkay is a creative writer who enjoys outdoor trips and nature activities. She is passionate about sustainability and environment conservation. Follow Me @Em23me.

Subscribe to our Mailing List
Keep up to date with all that we do at The Environmental Blog. We are always trying to get the best environmental stories, news, and views that you want to read about. So why not stay in touch?

Reasons to JOIN US include:
  • It's absolutely FREE!
  • Get Green Tips You MUST know about.
  • How to's on going green, saving money, and having fun.
  • Keep up-to-date on our posts in cased you missed them.

Your privacy will never be compromised

You Might Like:

6 Comments on “New IUCN Red List Shows Both Good and Bad News

  1. It´s scary to see how the species can disappear, just because we don´t care… or better, just because we aren´t well informed.
    To become aware of these problems, or we have this type of concerns and we search for this information, or we live a life that we never realise how our world is changing by our hands.
    Thank you for your posts! It´s people like you, sensitive to this kind of problems, who can spread the word, and wake up the people for the reality that is happening in our planet!

  2. The amount of poaching going on around the world at the moment is frightening, but what is even more frightening is the fact that these poachers are getting away with it. I personally believe that government should do more to prevent and stop poaching. My personal suggestion is that we should make the punishment more severe as this would make poachers think twice about risk and reward, but this is only my idea. Please tell me how you feel about my suggestion and if you have a few idea’s of your own.

    • I agree, Herman, but we should also consider the theory that legalizing the trade of illegal animal parts might reduce poaching of, for example, rhinos in Africa. This will drive down the black market prices and reduce the need for poaching.

  3. LLoubser that is exactly what we should not do! Adding supplies to the market will just fuel the fire of demand.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>