The loss of species on this planet is a major environmental and conservation issue. Global warming, in many instances, is increasing the rate of extinction for various groups. In addition to global warming, direct harm from human populations, including deforestation and hunting, are to blame for numerous other species being on the brink of extinction or already gone.
The International Union for Conservation of Nature recently released their Red List of endangered species. For this year’s list of the species at greatest risk of extinction, the group studied 47,677 different species. Of this number of species, the group found that 17,291 are teetering on the edge of extinction. The 2009 IUCN survey included 2,800 more species than 2008.
In eye-opening statistics, the IUCN determined that around 70 percent of plants are endangered, 25 percent of reptiles and more than 20 percent of mammals are also at risk of extinction. Many of the species at risk of extinction are only native to one country or even one small area of a certain country.
1,895 amphibian species are at the brink of extinction, largely in part due to disease and deforestation. Chytridiomycosis is a fungal disease which has wiped out thousands of individual amphibians across the globe. The disease is said to be increasing due to global warming, and is no match for populations already in jeopardy.
3,120 fish were part of the survey, of which 1,147 have been determined to be in danger of extinction. Many fish related extinctions are due to irrigation, dams and loss of wetlands.
Due to the survey being done regularly, some groupings do not see large jumps in the number of species in danger of extinction. One such group is the mammal grouping, which had only one added to the Red List in 2009. That particular mammal was the Eastern Voalavo, which is a rodent from Madagascar. This particular mammal is being threatened by deforestation.