ECOnsider This: IUCN Red List of Endangered Ecosystems One Step Closer

You can see how this graph, posted by Barry Ferguson on the Madagascar Environmental Justice Network web site, shows the dramatic increase in lemurs’ endangered status.

The IUNC, International Union for the Conservation of Nature, is one step closer to producing  a ‘Red List OF Endangered Ecosystems.’  Since habitat destruction, principally from illegal logging, is the most significant factor threatening lemurs in their only endemic habitat, the island nation of Madagascar.   Here’s what Becky Oskin, how  ‘Our Amazing Planet’ reports the Endangered Ecosystem proposal:

“The International Union for the Conservation of Nature moved closer to approving its new Red List of Ecosystems, which measures an ecosystem’s risk of collapse, this week at the World Conservation Congress in South Korea.

The IUCN is known for its authoritative Red List of Threatened Species, which created globally accepted criteria for assessing extinction risk. The new conservation tool takes a similar approach to entire ecosystems, determining the danger to an individual ecosystem, comparable to measuring the danger of a species going extinct.

Scientists presented several test cases for the ecosystem list at the meeting, in preparation for the official launch of the Red List next year. A formal proposal to IUCN leadership to adopt the Red List criteria is planned for early 2013, said Jon Paul Rodriguez, leader of the IUCN Commission on Ecosystem Management’s Ecosystems Red List Thematic Group. Funding is in place for identifying vulnerable, endangered or critically endangered ecosystems in the Americas, from Alaska to Patagonia, by 2014, Rodriguez told  Our Amazing Planet. Organizers hope to complete global coverage by 2025.

Once almost entirely covered in green, lush vegetation, Madagascar has witnessed the destruction of an estimated 80 percent of its indigenous forests. The now reddish-brown terrain can be seen in this true-color image of northern Madagascar acquired on May 24, 2000, by NASA’s Terra satellite.
CREDIT: NASA/Brian Montgomery, Robert Simmon, and Reto Stöckli/MODIS science team
courtesy of ‘Our Amazing Planet’

Ecosystem extinction?

The details of the criteria that will be used to assess which ecosystems are in danger are planned for publication in a scientific journal later this year. According to the IUCN, the list will help guide conservation action, including land use planning and investment priorities, by evaluating the risks of ecosystem collapse.  “The risk assessment will help people identify where key threats are, and then identify what can we do about it,” said Edmund Barrow, head of the IUCN’s Ecosystem Management Program. “We limit the assessment to the likelihood of an ecosystem disappearing,” Rodriguez said. “We’re letting others take it a step further into the priority-setting world.”  READ MORE…

Because Wild is Beautiful…

Silky Sifaka, Tampolo Madagascar, 2012

and we’re all in this together…

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One thought on “ECOnsider This: IUCN Red List of Endangered Ecosystems One Step Closer

  1. Pingback: ECOnsider This: IUCN Red List of Endangered Ecosystems One Step Closer « Caowrites's Blog

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