Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Most Threatened Species in 2010

I stumbled on a powerpoint presentation online that gives a nice summary of endangered species (well, I didn't exactly stumble since my search terms were "endangered species powerpoint"). The problem with writing about endangered species is that it's very much doom and gloom, after all, extinction is forever. The message in this presentation, which was directed at kids, was "Endangered means there's still time." Nice.

Then I found this nice infographic that summarizes the ten most threatened species in 2010. I suspect most of them will make the "10 most threatened" lists for the next several years, but the image presents information about the reasons that these species are so threatened. The present high rates of species loss are due to five human-caused factors: habitat loss, pollution, invasive species, overexploitation and global warming and you can see each of these factors rearing its head for these threatened species.

It should be noted that these are the most threatened high profile species. It's easy to find many more less famous species whose numbers are much more desperate, in the hundreds or only dozens. The Iberian lynx, for example, is thought to have less than 100 members.You can find lists of critically endangered species on Wikipedia and elsewhere. If "endangered"
means there's still time, then critically endangered means time is critical.

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