The 100 most endangered species have been named by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature’s World Conservation Congress in Jeju, South Korea, for the first time.
According to the Guardian, the grim list was created by 8,000 scientists from around the world. The 100 most endangered species include animals, plants, and fungi from 48 countries around the world.
The list was published in a report entitled Priceless or Worthless? According to Professor Jonathan Baillie of the Zoological Society of London, the list was created to draw attention to endangered species that the public doesn’t typically care about.
“The donor community and conservation movement are leaning increasingly towards a ‘what can nature do for us’ approach, where species and wild habitats are valued and prioritized according to the services they provide for people. This has made it increasingly difficult for conservationists to protect the most threatened species on the planet. We have a important moral and ethical decision to make: Do these species have a right to survive or do we have a right to drive them to extinction?”
The report’s co-author Ellen Butcher added:
“All the species listed are unique and irreplaceable. If they vanish, no amount of money can bring them back… However, if we take immediate action we can give them a fighting chance for survival.”
The authors of the list note that some of the endangered species provide economic benefits to people. The bladder of the giant yellow croaker, for instance, is used in medican and can be worth more than seven times the price of gold. Still, the scientists are hoping that people will realize that all of the species on the list benefit nature and therefore benefit humans.
Dr Simon Stuart, Chair IUCN Species Survival Commission, said:
“All species have a value to nature and thus in turn to humans. Although the value of some species may not appear obvious at first, all species in fact contribute in their way to the healthy functioning of the planet.”
Here are some photos of the 100 most endangered species in the world. (You can see the full list here.)
Pygmy three-toed sloth