News Release

Let’s save amazing species

22 December 2014
Science Festival
Photo: IUCN/A.Nikodinovic

This year, the 50th anniversary of the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species is celebrated worldwide. Joining in, the IUCN Programme Office for South-Eastern Europe partnered with its two members in Serbia, the Institute for Nature Conservation of Serbia and Institute for Nature Conservation of Vojvodina Province setting up an exhibition “Let’s save amazing species”.

Featuring attractive photos of species threatened both locally and worldwide, the exhibit panels briefly introduce the IUCN Red List and spread the message on the need to save species. The Species Survival Commission experts’ from Serbia greatly contributed providing their advice on the accompanying texts.

The exhibition reiterates the fact that all species are important. Be it a tiger or a dung beetle, each species plays an important role asigned to it within a web of life on the planet. Their diversity ensures the stability of ecosystems, and therefore, our own survival. Biodiversity is the essence of all life processes. By saving species we save biodiversity and the ecosystems that provide the natural resources we need to live.


Science Festival Photo: IUCN/A.Nikodinovic

The IUCN Red List of Threatened SpeciesTM provides the most up-to-date indication of the health of the world’s biodiversity. Far more than a list of species and their status, it is a powerful tool to inform and catalyze action for biodiversity conservation and policy change. It provides information about range, population size, habitat and ecology, use and/or trade, threats, and conservation actions that will help inform necessary conservation decisions.

To date, many species groups including mammals, amphibians, birds, reef building corals and conifers have Science Festival Photo: IUCN/A.Nikodinovicbeen comprehensively assessed. As well as assessing newly recognized species, the IUCN Red List also re-assesses the status of some existing species, sometimes with positive stories to tell. The bad news, however, is that biodiversity is declining. Currently there are more than 76,000 species on The IUCN Red List, and more than 22,000 are threatened with extinction, including 41% of amphibians, 34% of conifers, 33% of reef building corals, 25% of mammals and 13% of birds.

Increased assessments will help to build The IUCN Red List into a more complete ‘Barometer of Life’. To do this we need to increase the number of species assessed to Science Festival Photo: IUCN/A.Nikodinovicat least 160,000 by 2020. This will improve the global taxonomic coverage and thus provide a stronger base to enable better conservation and policy decisions. The IUCN Red List is crucial not only for helping to identify those species needing targeted recovery efforts, but also for focusing the conservation agenda by identifying the key sites and habitats that need to be saved. At its core, The IUCN Red List helps to set future conservation and funding priorities.



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