Saturday, September 10, 2011

World Conservation Union Save the Animals

Blue Iguana I
Blue Iguana I (Photo credit: pjah73)
Environmental Issues: Survival for Animals

The IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) is the World Conservation Union, which is an organization that maintains a list of animals that are dangerously close to extinction on what is known as the “Red List.” The ultimate mission of the IUCN’s Red List is to provide valuable information regarding the endangered species and statistics surrounding each species. The two major goals of the Red List are to: identify and document species in need of conservation and to provide a global index regarding the species on earth (IUCN). There are many affiliates who work with IUCN in order to help them achieve their goals. According to the IUCN official website, some of the partners are: IUCN Species Programme (working closely with the IUCN Species Survival Commission), BirdLife International, the Center for Applied Biodiversity Science (CABS) at Conservation International (CI), NatureServe, and the Institute of Zoology at the Zoological Society of London.
The Red List provides a search engine of information that has been collected regarding endangered species. The List is separated into categories, such as least concern, near threatened, vulnerable, endangered, critically endangered, extinct in the wild, and extinct. There are different levels of criteria for each category.
Blue Iguana II
Blue Iguana II (Photo credit: pjah73)
Looking at the IUCN Red List online, we can use the Mustela lutreola, more commonly known as the European mink, as an example. The European mink use to be widespread across the European continent, however has decreased in abundance to predominantly Eastern Europe and parts of France and Spain. The major factors that have caused the dramatic decrease in the population of this endangered include excessive hunting and the loss of the mink’s habitat.
English: '.
English: '. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
In addition, human developments such as hydroelectric developments and water pollution have helped decrease the population as well as pest control measures, such as trapping, contribute to the decline. Due to the endangered status of this species, the European mink has been protected and conservation efforts have been made across several nations where the mink can be located. The mink is legally protected in most sections of Europe.

The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.” International Union for Conservation of
Nature. February 2010. July 6, 2010. Internet: <>.
Withgott, Jay & Scott Brennan. Essential Environment: 3rd Ed. Pearson Custom
Publishing: San Francisco, 2009.

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