WILD NATURE

Endangered Species List Grows

The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) surveyed a total of 47,677 animals and plants for this year's "Red List" of endangered species, determining that 17,291 of them are threatened with extinction. More than one in five of all known mammals, over a quarter of reptiles and 70 percent of plants are under threat, according to the survey, which featured over 2,800 new species compared with 2008.  READ MORE >> 


RELATED: Extremes of Nature: National Geographic's 2009 Photo Contest

 

Panay Monitor Lizard

Red List Ranking: Endangered. 

The rare Panay Monitor Lizard lives in large trees in primary lowland tropical moist forest in Panay, Philippines.

The species feeds on fruit and the loss and degradation of lowland forest habitat through conversion of land for agricultural use and logging operations is a threat to this lizard. 

(Click on the next slide for more on the Panay Monitor Lizard.)

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AP/IUCN

Panay Monitor Lizard

Red List Ranking: Endangered. 

The species found in Panay, Philippines is hunted by humans for food and overhunting is a serious threat to the remaining population. 

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AP

Kihansi Spray Toad

Red List Ranking: Extinct in the Wild

The Kihansi Spray Toad was known only from the Kihansi Falls in Tanzania, where it was formerly abundant. However, after 2003 the population dramatically declined, and in January 2004 only three toads could be found, with just two males heard calling. 

The decline of this species was caused by the construction of a dam upstream of the falls in 2000 for the Lower Kihansi Hydropower Project. This removed 90 percent of the water flow, which hugely reduced the volume of spray and altered the vegetation. 

In 2003, the fungal disease chytridiomycosis was confirmed in dead Kihansi Spray Toads, and this disease was probably responsible for the final population crash.

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IUCN/AP

Rabbs Fringe-Limbed Treefrog

Red List Ranking: Critically Endangered

Rabb's Fringe-limbed Treefrog is known only from central Panama, where it occurs in tropical forest canopy. 

In 2006, the chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis was reported in the area where this species is known to occur. Since then, only one individual has been heard calling. There is also some ongoing forest clearing within the species' range for the development of luxury holiday homes, although this potential threat has not yet reached critical levels. 

This treefrog is one of several species collected for captive breeding efforts, however so far attempts at captive breeding have not produced positive results. \

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IUCN/AP

Hooded Grebe

Red List Ranking: Endangered

The Hooded Grebe was uplisted from Near Threatened to Endangered in 2009. This species mainly breeds on a few basaltic lakes in the extreme southwest of Argentina; the only known wintering grounds are two estuaries on the Atlantic coast of Santa Cruz, Argentina. 

In 1997, the total population was estimated at 3,000-5,000; the global population is now suspected to number well below 2,500 mature individuals and is continuing to decline. The two main threats to the Hooded Grebe appear to be climate change and the introduction of salmon and trout to private lakes. 

In 2006, a number of lakes completely dried and water levels at known breeding sites were 2-3 m lower than in previous years. Also, excessive grazing by sheep causes erosion at lakeshores and limits vegetation growth. 

Source: James Lowen; www.pbase.com/james_lowen

Calopteryx Exul

Red List Ranking: Vulnerable

Calopteryx exul occurs along the north Maghrebian mountains from Morocco to Tunisia. Some populations have become extinct after streams dried up, which may be due to climatic fluctuations as well as to human use of stream water for agriculture. 

In Algeria, all previously known populations are extinct due to heavy pollution of the waterways. Many Moroccan and Tunisian populations have declined due to stream pollution and streams drying up. 

This will certainly continue in the future as the human population increases and climatic conditions in the region become drier. 

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Source: Female Calopteryx exul, a maghrebinian endemic,  laying eggs at Oued Joumine, northern Tunisia (8 vi 2001).  Bernd Kunz, www.berndkunz.de

Giant Jewel

Red List Ranking: Vulnerable

The Giant Jewel is known from the Obudu Plateau, Nigeria and from Mount Kupe and the Bakossi Mountains Cameroon. 

The species occurs in and around rainforest streams above 700m altitude. Habitat loss through selective logging and forest destruction for agricultural expansion is the main threat to this species.  

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Source: Kai Schütte Entomology (Curator)/Animal Ecology and Conservation Biozentrum 

Smoky Winged Threadtail

Red List Ranking: Critically Endangered

The Smoky-winged Threadtail is endemic to Sri Lanka and is known only from the site from where the original specimens were collected in 1933. 

It was collected from small streams in dense montane forest and this habitat is under great pressure in Sri Lanka. Destruction of primary montane forests, planting of foreign tree species for forest plantations, destruction of forest corridors along streams, pollution, water extraction and other pressures on streams and upper courses of rivers in mountainous central part of Sri Lanka are major threats for endemic dragonfly fauna of the region. 

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Source: Matjaz Bedjanic 

Grizzled Pintail

Red List Ranking: Least Concern

The Grizzled Pintail  is widespread in Africa (except in dense rain forests), southern Europe, the Middle East, southern Asia, and the Indian Ocean Islands.

It occurs in swampy and well-vegetated open habitats. Drainage and destruction of swampy habitats is a potential threat in some parts of its range, but generally the population is so large and widespread at present that it is assessed as least concern.

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Source: The Grizzled Pintail (Acisoma panorpoides) from Siwa Oasis, Egypt. © Kevin G. Smith

Pungu

Red List Ranking: Critically Endangered

The Pungu  is a  fish endemic to Lake Barombi Mbo, in Cameroon. It lives near the lake bottom in the shallow water of the lake shore and feeds on benthic invertebrates. 

Females brood their eggs in their mouths. Lake Barombi Mbo is at risk from the effects of introduced crustaceans and fishes, water pollution, and siltation due to local deforestation and water extraction for agriculture and domestic use, all of which pose a threat to the Pungu. Fluctuations in the lake level have impacted fish breeding sites. 

The Pungu is also collected for the aquariam trade.

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Source: Ulrich Schliewen

Betta pinguis

Red List Ranking: Vulnerable

Betta pinguis is known only from the middle Kapuas River basin in Indonesia. 

In the last ten years, illegal gold mining in this basin area has increased dramatically, and as a result the Kapuas River is experiencing environmental problems, including an increase in mercury pollution in the river. So far, efforts to prevent water pollution and environmental destruction in the basin have failed, and the damage continues. 

In addition, freshwater habitats in Kalimantan are threatened by deforestation, conversion of land to agriculture, overfishing, the introduction of exotics and the aquaculture industry.

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Source: Heok Hui Tan

Pachnodus velutinus

Red List Ranking: Extinct. 

Pachnodus velutinus was a terrestrial snail from Mahé Island in the Seychelles. 

This snail once inhabited high forests, requiring constant humidity levels of at least 90%. By the early 1990s, it was restricted to the dampest area of moss forests on the island. 

Being highly vulnerable to desiccation, habitat degradation and climatic changes were the main threats that caused the snail’s range and population size to shrink. 

Source: Justin Gerlach

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Purple Skimmer

Red List Ranking: Vulnerable

The Purple Skimmer is a Vulnerable North American species, known from only ten counties in Florida. 

The species is found in clear sandy lakes and ponds with little aquatic vegetation but with a shoreline belt of tall maidencane and/or sedges and St. John's Wort. These habitats are scarce under pristine conditions, and many of these lakes are in areas not protected from development. Eutrophication and other types of water pollution from human settlements around and near these lakes continue to threaten available habitat for this species. 

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Source: Dennis Paulson

Rhinagrion hainanense

Red List Ranking: Vulnerable

Rhinagrion hainanense is a Chinese species found in Hainan province. 

The species is known from only three sites within a relatively small area. 

Available forest stream habitat for this species is declining. 

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Source: Graham Reels

Samoana attenuata

Red List Ranking: Critically Endangered 

The snail Samoana attenuata is endemic to the Society Islands. It is now extinct on Bora Bora, but a small population was found on Moorea in 1996, a few small populations on Tahiti during the surveys of 2003-2005, and a few individuals were found on Raiatea in 2006. 

The introduced carnivorous snail Euglandina rosea remains the principal threat to this species. Since this snail does not appear to survive in captive breeding colonies, it is very important to protect the remaining wild populations to ensure the future survival of the species. 

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Source:  Trevor Coote

Powder Blue Damselfly

Red List Ranking:  Vulnerable

The Powder Blue Damselfly is a poorly known species, which has been reported from Yemen, northeast Oman and the northern United Arab Emirates. 

A future degradation of its habitat may be expected in this area due to the rapidly increasing human and the use of pesticide in agricultural and oases landscapes, which constitute a large part of the habitat of the species. Ongoing drying up of this area may also be expected, due to the changing climatic conditions in the region.

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Source:  Bob Reimer

Giant Pangasius

Red List Ranking: Critically Endangered

The Giant Pangasius is a fish found in the Chao Phraya and Mekong river basins in Cambodia, China, Lao PDR, Thailand and Vietnam. It is inhabits the bottom and midwaters of large rivers surrounded by rainforest, and uses deep pools as refuges in the dry season. 

Though this fish migrates within freshwater, it does not appear to migrate over the Khone Falls, and may therefore be separated into two sub-populations. Overfishing for food, and to a lesser extent the aquarium trade, is the principle threat facing this species. 

Local fisherman have reported dramatic declines in sightings and catch, and a population decline of more than 99% over the past 30-45 years is inferred.

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Source: Chavalit Vidthayanon

Kunming Snout Trout

Red List Ranking: Critically Endangered

Kunming Snout Trout  is known only from Lake Dianchi, and its tributaries and springs in Yunnan Province, China. Its range size has been reduced over the last 20 years due to introduced fish species, water pollution, over-fishing, and loss of breeding sites due to siltation and blocked access. 

This fish is no longer caught in the lake itself; currently it is known to occur only in two tributaries and two springs of the Songhuaba reservoir drainage. 

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Source:  Tony Whitten

Sail fin Water Lizard

Red List Ranking: Vulnerable

The semi-aquatic Sail-fin Water Lizard is endemic to the Philippines. Generally it is restricted to lowland tropical moist forests, but can also occur in open cultivated areas. 

There are only two species of Hydrosaurus occurring in the Philippines and both species are principally threatened by habitat loss (through conversion of wooded land to alternative uses (including agriculture), and through logging operations). 

In addition, these lizards (especially the hatchlings) are heavily collected for both the pet trade (national and possibly international) and for local consumption. Because of inter-island trade, there is some possibility of introduced animals mixing with indigenous populations. 

In some parts of its range it is additionally threatened by water pollution resulting from the use of agrochemicals and increased sedimentation.

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Source: Mark Wheeler

Endangered Species List Grows

The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) surveyed a total of 47,677 animals and plants for this year's "Red List" of endangered species, determining that 17,291 of them are threatened with extinction. More than one in five of all known mammals, over a quarter of reptiles and 70 percent of plants are under threat, according to the survey, which featured over 2,800 new species compared with 2008.  READ MORE >> 


RELATED: Extremes of Nature: National Geographic's 2009 Photo Contest

 

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