More than 8,000 scientists from around the globe have joined together to identify the 100 most endangered species on the planet. The resulting report was released today by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), the worlds oldest and largest environmental organization. Conservationists fear these species will be allowed to die out because none of them provide obvious benefits to humans.
Professor Jonathan Baillie, the Zoological Society of London's Director of Conservation, says “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 an 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 100 species on the list come from 48 different countries around the world and are first in line to become extinct if nothing is done to protect them. The report, titled 'Priceless or Worthless?' seeks to draw attention to some of the “worthless” species that can still be saved with human intervention.
Dr Simon Stuart, Chair of IUCN Species Survival Commission, says“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.”
'Priceless or Worthless' not only identifies the threats that these species face, but also identifies how those threats can be addressed. In addition, the book highlights past efforts that have successfully rescued species from the brink of extinction, giving hope that similar efforts can save additional species from being lost.
Here is the link to an online version of Priceless or Worthless.