Total of endangered species grows by 121 in two years

A A A

More than 100 species, ranging from a small water mouse to a wild camel, have been added to the list of the world's most endangered species.

More than 100 species, ranging from a small water mouse to a wild camel, have been added to the list of the world's most endangered species.

The Red List of Threatened Species, compiled by the World Conservation Union and published yesterday, gives details of 11,167 animals and plants that are known to be at risk of extinction, an increase of 121 since the list was last published in 2000.

The reassessment has led to some good news. A small number of species thought to have disappeared, such as the Lord Howe Island stick insect and Bavarian pine vole, have been rediscovered since 2000.

Among those added to the list is the saiga, a nomadic antelope inhabiting the steppes and semi-arid deserts of central Asia. Poaching for meat and the export of the antelope's horns for traditional medicine have led to a drastic decline in the species, which once numbered more than one million animals but is now thought to consist of fewer than 50,000. Another animal newly classified is the wild Bactrian camel from China and Mongolia, which has been hunted because it competes with domestic camels for water and grazing.

Scientists warn that the Iberian lynx, which has also been added to the list, could be the first wild cat to become extinct in more than 2,000 years, because of the perilous state of its breeding population. Less than half of the 1990s population of about 1,200 lynx survive, mostly confined to scattered groups in the south-west of Spain and Portugal.

A single specimen of the Ethiopian water mouse, found near the source of the Little Abbai river, a tributary of the Blue Nile, has led to it being included on the Red List for the first time.

On the Indian subcontinent, scientists believe the slender-billed vulture and the Indian vulture are in danger because of disease, poisoning, pesticides and changes to the way dead livestock is disposed of.

Scientists assessed more than 400 species of animals and plants. To be on the Red List they must be critically endangered, endangered or vulnerable to extinction.

Back from extinction

Lord Howe Island stick insect:

This insect, right, was considered to have become extinct around 1920 after the introduction of rats to Lord Howe Island, which is 340 miles off the eastern coast of Australia. Last year, though, specimens were rediscovered on Balls Pyramid, a rocky outcrop 14 miles from the island, which supports fewer than 50 mature individuals.

Bavarian pine vole:

Only one location in Garmisch-Partenkirchen was known to be home to this rodent, which disappeared in 1962. In 2000, scientists found a small breeding population in northern Tyrol, just across the German-Austrian border from Bavaria.

Marbled toadlet:

This amphibian was known from only one specimen collected in a remote area of the Kimberley region of Western Australia more than 150 years ago. It had not been recorded since and was classified as extinct in 1996, but scientists are re-examining the original specimen to see whether it is an unusual individual of an existing species.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Ashdown Group: Data Scientist - London - £50,000 + bonus

£35000 - £50000 per annum + generous bonus: Ashdown Group: Business Analytics ...

Ashdown Group: IT Project Coordinator (Software Development) - Kingston

£45000 - £50000 per annum: Ashdown Group: IT Project Coordinator (Software Dev...

Ashdown Group: Editor-in-chief - Financial Services - City, London

£60000 - £70000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: A highly successful, glo...

Ashdown Group: Junior Application Support Analyst - Fluent German Speaker

£25000 - £30000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: A global leader operating...

Day In a Page

General Election 2015: Ed Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

He was meant to be Labour's biggest handicap - but has become almost an asset
General Election 2015: A guide to the smaller parties, from the the National Health Action Party to the Church of the Militant Elvis Party

On the margins

From Militant Elvis to Women's Equality: a guide to the underdogs standing in the election
Amr Darrag: Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister in exile still believes Egypt's military regime can be replaced with 'moderate' Islamic rule

'This is the battle of young Egypt for the future of our country'

Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister Amr Darrag still believes the opposition can rid Egypt of its military regime and replace it with 'moderate' Islamic rule, he tells Robert Fisk
Why patients must rely less on doctors: Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'

Why patients must rely less on doctors

Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'
Sarah Lucas is the perfect artist to represent Britain at the Venice Biennale

Flesh in Venice

Sarah Lucas has filled the British pavilion at the Venice Biennale with slinky cats and casts of her female friends' private parts. It makes you proud to be a woman, says Karen Wright
11 best anti-ageing day creams

11 best anti-ageing day creams

Slow down the ageing process with one of these high-performance, hardworking anti-agers
Juventus 2 Real Madrid 1: Five things we learnt, including Iker Casillas is past it and Carlos Tevez remains effective

Juventus vs Real Madrid

Five things we learnt from the Italian's Champions League first leg win over the Spanish giants
Ashes 2015: Test series looks a lost cause for England... whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket

Ashes series looks a lost cause for England...

Whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket, says Stephen Brenkley
Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power