Vulnerable and Endangered Species
The IUCN Red List divides the conservation status of species into nine categories. The species that fall into the categories of Critically Endangered, Endangered and Vulnerable are also termed “threatened” species. Threatened species are the species on the IUCN Red List considered to be threatened with global extinction. Vulnerable and endangered species are threatened with global extinction.
Vulnerable Species: A vulnerable species is one which has been categorized (IUCN) as likely to become endangered unless the circumstances that are threatening its survival and reproduction improve.
Endangered Species: An endangered species is defined as a species (plant or animal) that is in danger of extinction throughout all or a significant portion of its range.
The Nine IUCN Red List Categories are:
2. Extinct in the Wild
3. Critically Endangered
6. Near Threatened
7. Least Concern
8. Data Deficient
9. Not Evaluated
The IUCN list of threatened species includes the major taxonomic groups including mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, fishes, molluscs, plants, fungi, chromists and other inverts.
According to the 2021 IUCN Red List 38,543, or approximately 36% of the total number of assessed species are threatened with extinction in 2021.
Critically Endangered = 8,404
Endangered = 14,647
Vulnerable = 15,492
Sharks and Dolphins are Threatened with Extinction
For example, according to the IUCN 37% of the world’s sharks and rays are threatened with extinction in 2021 primarily due to overfishing. However, these species are also facing the issues of the loss and degradation of their habit as well as the compounding impacts resulting from climate change.
With the tucuxi -a small grey dolphin species found in the Amazon river- having its conservation status moved from Data Deficient to Endangered, all the world’s freshwater dolphin species are now listed as threatened. This means all the world’s freshwater dolphin species are threatened with global extinction.
In addition, the IUCN says certain groups are known to be considerably threatened, such as amphibians (41%), sharks (31%) and corals (33%).
Case study on Dwarf Crocodile (vulnerable)
Case study on Malayan Sun Bear (vulnerable)
Case study on Black Lemur (endangered)
Case Study on Giant Otter (endangered)
Case Study on Komodo Dragon (endangered)