Endangered Species

Climate change causing huge loss in tropical insect invertebrate population

The Washington Post reports on a "hyperalarming" study showing dramatic loss of insects in pristine American tropical forest.  The study was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.  The Post story notes that 35% of the world's plant crops require pollination by bees, wasps and other animals, so that if pollinators go extinct so will many plant species.  


Republicans want to make it harder to add a species to the endangered list

In the steady drip, drip, drip of Trump legislation threatening nature, survival, and the Great Society, Republicans in the House of Representatives have introduced a bill, HR 717, intended to weaken the Endangered Species Act.  The bill, known as the Listing Reform Act of 2017, would amend the Endangered Species Act to require review of the economic cost of adding a species to the list of endangered species or threatened species, or for other purposes.  More info from The Verge . 


IUCN publishes latest update of threatened species list

The IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources) released a new update to its Red List of Threatened Species. The update includes the first assessments of various crops essential to food security, and includes the information that the global giraffe population has plummeted by 40% in the last 30 years.

“Many species are slipping away before we can even describe them,” says IUCN Director General Inger Andersen. “This IUCN Red List update shows that the scale of the global extinction crisis may be even greater than we thought. Governments gathered at the UN biodiversity summit in Cancun have the immense responsibility to step up their efforts to protect our planet’s biodiversity – not just for its own sake but for human imperatives such as food security and sustainable development.”