“For the first time in history, the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species includes ocean corals in its annual report of wildlife going extinct….
“There is a common misconception that marine species are not as vulnerable to extinction as land-based species,” said Roger McManus, CI’s vice president for marine programs. “However, we increasingly realize that marine biodiversity is also faced with serious environmental threat, and that there is an urgent need to determine the worldwide extent of these pressures to guide marine conservation practice…..
Other coral and algae species lacked sufficient information to determine their IUCN Red List status, so they received the designation of Data Deficient. Researchers believe many of these species are likely to be listed as threatened with extinction when more detailed information becomes available.”
This is a start. More protection for the spineless!
Given the importance of coral to the production of marine ecosystems, it’s long past time for this, IMHO.
The full new 2007 IUCN Red List is here, if you want to make yourself very depressed:
“One in four mammals, one in eight birds, one third of all amphibians, and 70% of the world’s assessed plants on the 2007 IUCN Red List are in jeopardy.”
I suspect that if we knew more about insects, we would have even more of them on the list. In a quick search I found 1255 endangered insect species, which seems ridiculously small. The list is clearly biased toward North America and Europe, which is understandable, although regrettable, since the majority of species is elsewhere.
Visit Endangered Ugly Things for the story of some other non-cute and fuzzy threatened animals.