Unsustainable farming, fishing and climate change had intensified the struggle for survival among vulnerable animals and crops, according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).
Thousands of animal species are at risk of going extinct due to unsustainable farming and fishing methods and climate change, IUCN has warned as it released the latest red list of endangered species.
The struggle for survival among at-risk animals has intensified as a result of rising human populations, economic development and drastic changes in the natural environment caused by global warming.
Craig Hilton-Taylor, who heads the group’s red list unit, said species were going extinct at a faster rate than at any time in human history. He said: “It’s all a rather sad picture, but the red list also gives us hope and shows us that conservation can work.”
The conservation group assessed the status of 91,523 species, of which 25,821 are threatened, 866 are extinct and 69 extinct in the wild. It said 11,783 species are vulnerable, 8,455 are endangered and 5,583 critically endangered.
Among the most prominent species now regarded as endangered are the Irrawaddy dolphin and finless porpoise found in parts of southeast Asia.
However, not only animals are affected, plants and crops are also beginning to be threatened due to deforestation and urban expansion, coupled with the pressures created by intensive agriculture.
Naohisa Okuda, director of the biodiversity policy division at Japan’s environment ministry said: “We should be very concerned about the survival of these crops.”