Last Saturday, September 4, the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) published the latest update of his Red List, which includes the threat status of a wide list of animals and plants. This recent review of the status of thousands of species brings both good and bad news. On the one hand, some animals have regressed on their way to the extinction. It is, for example, the case of Red tuna. However, there have also been animals that have climbed a rung of the ladder that leads to their disappearance. One of them, on which the IUCN has made an important call for attention, is the Komodo dragon.
It is not a widely spread species. In fact, they can only be found in freedom in the National Park that gives them their name, in Indonesia, and in the neighbor island of flowers. This very small habitat means that any deterioration due to human activity or climate change can put them in serious danger. And the latter is precisely what seems to be happening.
There is still time to try to start conservation plans aimed at keeping this species as long as possible. With tuna they have worked, although it is true that these are different reasons for extinction. But, be that as it may, it is clear that you have to try.
From Komodo dragon to sharks
In the own IUCN Red List listed are the main reasons that are leading to Komodo dragon (Varanus komodoensis) to extinction. They mention the development of tourism and recreation areas in its habitat, its hunt and catch, the fires, the presence of invasive species or exotic diseases in your environment and, of course, the climate change. All this has contributed to the fact that, after the publication of a study in which their vulnerable situation was revealed, has gone from “vulnerable” to “in danger of extinction”.
However, in the release issued by IUCN, special emphasis is placed on the climate change. In fact, they explain that, according to forecasts, rising temperatures and sea level could reduce habitat Komodo dragon 30% in just 45 years.
But this is not the only species of concern after the latest Red List update. In fact, after the last changes in the catalog there are 138,374 threatened species, of which 38,543 are in danger of extinction.
The case of stingrays and sharks, since approximately the 37% of its species they are now seriously threatened. Climate change also plays an important role here, although overfishing is strongly linked to it. Something that also had almost doomed to extinction when Red tuna. But luckily his is the personable side of this story.
Bluefin tuna, further from extinction
In this latest update, seven species of tuna have been evaluated. Of these, four have shown signs of improvement, thanks to the iron fishing quotas imposed by the governments of the places where their capture had become excessive.
The first one is the Atlantic bluefin tuna (Thunnus thynnus), well known for its use in the preparation of high-end sushi, according to IFLScience. In the statement, they explain what happened from “Danger” to “Least Concern”. On the other hand, the southern bluefin tuna (Thunnus maccoyii), is no longer considered in “Critical Danger”, to locate only as in danger. Finally, the white tuna (Thunnus alalunga) and that of yellow fin (Thunnus albacares) pass from “Near Threatened” to “Least Concern”.
It is good news, but they warn that we cannot yet launch the bells to the flight, because “many regional populations of tuna are still seriously depleted ”. There are even great changes within the same species. For example, the largest eastern stock of Atlantic bluefin tuna has seen a great improvement, increasing by at least 22% in the last 40 years. However, the smallest western Atlantic population, which spawns in the Gulf of Mexico, has declined by more than half in the same time.
Clearly, we must try to continue strengthening the measures so that the improvement is something more global. And, of course, continue fighting climate change, each with the tools available to them. We will help bluefin tuna, Komodo dragon, sharks and rays and many more species. In fact, since it sometimes seems that human beings only move through our own navel, we will also help ourselves.