What are some endangered species in India

IUCN: How the Red List Works

The cute animal would almost no longer exist today: the golden lion tamarin was at the top of the international red list of endangered species. It was considered "critically endangered" - and that saved his life. Today there are more than 1,000 of its kind again. But what does the Red List have to do with it? And how does an animal get on this list? How do you know how threatened a species really is? And who keeps the Red List up to date with the many animal and plant species on earth?

Special animals on the red list

Over 1,000 people trudge through a huge, snow-covered forest area in Russia at the same time, covering around 26,000 kilometers: They are looking for fresh ones traces of Amur tigers. They have to do this at the same time in order to know how many of the animals there are still in this area. In Cambodia, WWF experts count leopards by using them Camera traps photos do from two sides. Based on the individual polka dot patterns, you can tell how many different leopards have run in front of your lens. It becomes more difficult if the animals cannot be individually differentiated. Then the biologists have to go more complicated counting methods or DNA analysis To fall back on. You can also count elephants and rhinos with the help of their DNA, which is obtained from their dung heaps. Sometimes even specially trained people are trained to search for excrement Sniffer dogs used.

Counting a few animals is more difficult

Species censuses are time-consuming and expensive, and the rarer the species, the more difficult it is. "It is much more difficult to prove that an animal no longer exists than to prove that an animal exists," explains Volker Homes, conservation expert at WWF. "So the Yangtze river dolphin is very likely extinct. But no one can say with absolute certainty. After all, there are the bizarre re-discoveries of animals." For example, it was thought that the coelacanth had become extinct since the end of the Cretaceous until it was rediscovered in the Indian Ocean in 1938.

One goes from 10 million species in the world out. Just 70,000 are on the international red list of threatened animals and plants. But even that is a great success because we simply still know very little about many species. Around a third of all species examined are listed as threatened. All over the world, many different groups of experts regularly review how endangered each species is. These experts are held together by the umbrella organization IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) - the World Conservation Union.

When is a species considered to be threatened?

The international red list is based on scientific criteria and is therefore the most reliable and renowned source on the state of biodiversity. How threatened a species is does not only depend on how many animals or plants there are still. The living space also plays an important role. "It makes a big difference whether a species is distributed across half of East Africa or only occurs in a small volcanic cone in Kenya," explains Arnulf Köhncke from WWF. "If an area is very small, there may still be 5,000 animals here - but the species can still be threatened by possible destruction of the area." also the experts check the reproduction rate of each species and watch closely how their population develops.

The IUCN: Editor of the Red List

The international Red List of Endangered Species has existed since 1963 and has been continuously updated ever since. The publisher is the International Union for Conservation of Nature IUCN. This is the largest and oldest network for worldwide nature conservation. As an umbrella organization, the IUCN brings together ministries and authorities, non-governmental organizations and scientists from more than 160 countries. The WWF is one of the most important members of this network. But also that Federal Agency for Nature Conservation for example is part of the World Conservation Union. The IUCN is headquartered in Gland, Switzerland, and has country offices in more than 45 countries. In addition to its work as an umbrella organization, the organization also oversees its own environmental protection and sustainability projects beyond the Red List of Endangered Species.

For many species, the red list is the last resort

The golden lion tamarin in Brazil is the best example: With a population of less than 300 animals in the wild, it was on the Red List as "critically endangered". This status gave the little monkey priority in species protection. It was in Zoos bred, released into the wild and a protected area set up. Today it is a symbol of the Atlantic rainforest in Brazil and, after 30 years of intensive conservation work, its threat has been downgraded to "critically endangered". The Red List distinguishes between different categories, for example whether a species is already extinct in the wild, whether it is threatened with extinction, endangered or endangered. Ultimately, this primarily serves decision-makers. The The red list of endangered species is the basis for setting priorities in species protection and an important, recognized argumentation aid for nature conservation.

By Stephanie Probst

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