As more gorilla species become endangered, panda bears are off the endangered list. The latest update from the International Union for the Conservation of Nature’s Red List of Threatened Species is here. The catalogue examines the risk of extinction for plants, fungi, and animals. The worldwide list of endangered animals was released in Honolulu, Hawaii on Sunday.
One of the important updates is the “critically endangered” status of Grauer’s gorilla species, from Congo. There are just 3,800 Grauer’s gorillas living right now. The figure represents a worrying decrease in numbers for this species. Grauer’s gorillas are the largest gorillas in the world. Their habitat was affected by the Rwandan genocide. Big crowds of refugees took cover from the genocide into the gorilla’s natural habitat.
The decrease in numbers for the Grauer’s gorilla affected the larger species too. The Eastern gorilla became listed as “critically endangered” as well.
The international forum on wildlife gathers every four years. It is the largest environmental meeting in the world. It unites heads of state, governments, civilians, local people, entrepreneurs, and academics. They try to come up with solutions for the world’s conservation issues.
This year, over 8,000 representatives from 184 countries are attending the event. The International Union for the Conservation of Nature makes a Red List to catalog species in accordance with the extinction rate. The categories in the catalog are: “least concern”, “near threatened”, “vulnerable”, “endangered” and “critically endangered.”
Out of the 82,954 species which have been looked at, over a quarter are exposed to extinction.
The downwards trend for the Grauer’s gorilla species came as a result of illegal hunting and civil war. The species was switched from “endangered” to “critically endangered.”
After the Rwandan massacres, there was a refugee exodus to eastern Congo. People in the regions were displaced. They went into protected areas, started mining, and hunting for Grauer’s gorillas.
The plains zebra was switched from “least concern” to “near threatened.” The move comes as a consequence of a 24 percent decline in population. Zebras are hunted for their skin and meat.
In a more optimistic note, the giant Panda bears were listed as “vulnerable” instead of “endangered.” The panda population grew because of forest conservation efforts by the Chinese government.
Image Source – Wikipedia