Threats to biodiversity are at an all time high, caused by detrimental human activities across the globe. The loss of species is an indication of the degraded state of our planet.
"This is not just about more and more individual species being threatened by extinction. One by one, the building blocks of entire ecosystems are disappearing. It's like taking one brick after another from a wall, and eventually it will crumble," said Dr Susan Lieberman, Director of WWF's Global Species Programme. "It is not an exaggeration to call IUCN 's analysis the reflection of a global conservation crisis."
Climate change represents one of the most pervasive threats to our planet's biodiversity. A recently published study co-authored by WWF suggests that a quarter of the world's species will be on their way to extinction by 2050 as a result of global warming
"It isn't just polar bears and penguins that we must worry about anymore," said Jennifer Morgan, Director of WWF's Global Climate Change Programme. "If the regions with the largest variety of animals and plants are no longer habitable due to global warming then we will destroy the last sanctuaries of many species and at the same time risk the future of millions of people."
Overexploitation of species for food, medicine, pets and other human uses, is a direct driver of species loss. Human reliance on wildlife for everyday needs cannot be overestimated. These threats, in combination, are pushing the planet's resources to the limit. But healthy ecosystems with healthy species populations are critical to the livelihoods and very survival of local and indigenous communities around the world. IUCN have drawn attention to this situation and governments and industry must take immediate action to address this problem.
"If the regions with the largest variety of animals and plants are no longer habitable due to global warming then we will destroy the last sanctuaries of many species..."Jennifer Morgan, Director of WWF's Global Climate Change Programme
Related linksFurther information about the 2006 Red List can be found on the IUCN website . More information on our work on in this area can be found in the endangered species section of our research centre