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Marine mammals, corals pushed to the brink of extinction: Conservation group | Environmental News


Population of a vulnerable cetacean, a variety of abalone and Caribbean corals are now threatened with extinctionsaid an international conservation organization.

The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has published an update to the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity, or COP15conference in Montreal on Friday.

The Global Conservation Agency uses the Red List of Threatened Species to classify animals that are nearing extinction. This year, the association is sounding the alarm about the manatee – a large and docile marine mammal that lives from the east coast of Africa to the western Pacific Ocean.

The dugong, a gray herbivorous mammal commonly known as the manatee, is vulnerable in its range and populations in East Africa has been placed on the Red List as critically endangered, the IUCN said in a statement. Its population on the French territory of New Caledonia has been put on the endangered list.

There are less than 250 adult manatees in East Africa and less than 900 in New Caledonia.

The IUCN says the main threats to these animals are from accidental fishing in East Africa and poaching in New Caledonia. Evan Trotzuk, who led the East Africa Red Book assessment, said they also had a collision with boats and lost seagrass, their main food source.

Other threats come from oil and gas exploration and production in Mozambique and pollution from nickel mining in the Pacific Ocean.

“Strengthening community-led fisheries management and expanding employment opportunities beyond fishing are key in East Africa, where marine ecosystems are fundamental to people’s food security and livelihoods, ‘ said Trotzuk.

Scientists, rights advocates and delegates from nearly 200 countries concentrated in Canada at COP15 this week to address biodiversity loss and what can be done to reverse it.

For years, experts have been sounding the alarm that climate change and other factors are leading to “unprecedented” declines in animals, plants and other species, while threatening threaten different ecosystems.

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has warned of dire consequences if what he calls this “devastating” ecosystem is not contained.

“With our endless thirst for unchecked and uneven economic growth, humanity has become a weapon of mass destruction,” Guterres said at the opening ceremony of COP15 on Tuesday.

The IUCN Red List includes more than 150,000 species, of which more than 42,000 are threatened with extinction.

The Red List is usually updated two or three times a year. This week’s update features over 3,000 additions.

Jane Smart, head of IUCN’s Center for Data and Science, says it will take political will to save endangered speciesand the appeal of the new listing can serve as a call to action.

Pillar corals, found across the Caribbean from the Yucatan Peninsula and Florida to Trinidad and Tobago, have transitioned from vulnerable to critically endangered.

The IUCN says the coral is threatened by tissue loss disease and its population has fallen by more than 80% across most of its range since 1990, the IUCN lists more than two dozen species of Atlantic coral as endangered. seriously threatened.

Almost half Coral The Atlantic Ocean “is at high risk of extinction due to climate change and other impacts,” said Beth Polidoro, an associate professor at Arizona State University and IUCN Red List coordinator.

Unsustainable fishing and poaching have emerged as threats to abalone, a mollusk sold as one of the world’s most expensive seafood. Twenty of the 54 species of abalone in the world are threatened with extinction according to the first global assessment of the species in the Red Book.

The hundreds of members of the coalition include government agencies from around the world in one of the largest environmental networks on the planet.

“Most of the Earth’s biosphere, 99% of the habitable space on our planet, is underwater,” said Jon Paul Rodriguez, chair of the IUCN Species Survival Commission.

“Humanity acts as if the oceans were inexhaustible, capable of sustaining an endless harvest of algae, animals and plants for food and other products, able to convert vast amounts of wastewater and other pollutants that we dump into coastal areas and absorb the CO2 produced by the land—using change and burning fossil fuels.”

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