IUCN Red List updates: Food security threats and endangered animals

Rice farmers working on field in ThailandIn a recent press conference in Tokyo, the International Union for the Conservation of Nature, or IUCN, Red List of Threatened Species revealed that species of wild rice, wheat and yam are threatened due to an intense increase in agricultural production and urban expansion. The IUCN Red List also confirms that poor fishing practices have caused dramatic declines in the Irrawaddy Dolphin and Finless Porpoise. Three reptiles in Christmas Island have also gone extinct and the western ringtail Australian possum has become greatly endangered due to climate change. The benefits of conservation of the New Zealand Kiwi were also highlighted. “The finless porpoise is primarily threatened by anthropogenic impacts such as coastal development and fisheries bycatch,” said CBO Founding Director Leah Gerber. “Because they have a ‘slow’ life history (i.e., long gestation, late sexual maturity), finless porpoises are slow to respond to conservation interventions. Acting now is critical to the persistence of the only species in the Genus Neophocaena and the most basal living member of the porpoise family.” This story was covered by international media. Some of the major English media coverage includes (click to access story) BBC News, Forbes, CNN and The Guardian. The ASU Center for Biodiversity Outcomes partnered with the IUCN Red List in September 2016.