Spineless: Threats to the world’s invertebrates

comparative diversity of animal groupsHot off the press, a new report published by the Zoological Society of London, in cooperation with IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) and Wildscreen.  You might recognize IUCN as the authors of the Red List, the definitive international list of species that are at risk of extinction.

Why should we care about a bunch of squishy boneless animals?
Because invertebrates make up EIGHTY PERCENT OF ALL THE SPECIES ON EARTH.  They truly are the “little things that run the world.”

A report that suggests that 20% of those species are at risk? That is a very big deal.

The report itself is fairly accessible to the lay reader, and includes lots of data, citations, and lovely photos of what we will be missing if we don’t start paying attention.

Download and read the report here.

6 thoughts on “Spineless: Threats to the world’s invertebrates

  1. Curse you, charismatic megafauna!
    Actually, I have no beef with whales or elephants, just a great frustration with people who place all the attention only on these species–and I’m not talking about the public, who, in spite of over half a century of eloquent ecologists’ efforts to reach them (thank you, Rachel Carson), simply aren’t aware–I’m talking about people who should know better and yet still publicize only big cute species because they know they’ll “sell.” If no experts emphasize the prevalence and value, from an ecological and economic perspective, of *everything else*, no one will care until it’s too late. (Unless it already is…)
    Thank you for highlighting this report! And for regularly striking a blow against vertebrate-centricism.

  2. Thanks for pointing out that elephants, polar bears and giant pandas aren’t the only creatures worth paying attention to. Someone has to pay attention… and it would be nice if it were as much of the general populace as those who advocate conservation for the species I listed above… We need more ecosystem-wide conservation rather than single-species focused conservation.

    Although it wasn’t a invertebrate, I highlighted some “Repellant Minifauna” (in some people’s opinions) today on my blog as well. Sagalla Caecilian…. http://biojournalism.com/2012/09/sagalla-caecilian-or-omg-what-is-it/

  3. Great resource, BugGirl. I read through the first 10 or so pages and promptly downloaded it for a more thoughtful read later. Impressive information, visually profound piece, right up my alley. Thanks for sharing. Timing was good I just posted about an ox beetle grub from the yard yesterday (http://wp.me/p28k6D-D6). He’s a beauty! Alarming in size, but harmless and a great learning gift for my kids (to see another larva-turn-pupa-turn-beetle). It was a Squee moment for sure. LOL

  4. I feel your pain in the campaign for non-cute animals recognition. Somehow, people don’t seem to like fish either. Unless it’s on their plate. Thanks for highlighting this report. The IUCN RedList is so often depressing… But only through identifying the problem can we hope to save some of these species! Great blog, I’ll be following :)

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