‘Fingers crossed’ for threatened species

27 October 2010 | News story

Every day biodiversity is being lost at up to 1,000 times the natural rate: almost 19 thousand species out of 52 thousand assessed so far are threatened with extinction and the results of the latest assessment of the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species™ released today show that, on average, 50 species of mammal, bird and amphibian move closer to extinction each year due to the impacts of agricultural expansion, logging, over-exploitation and invasive alien species.

But from a scientific point of view, halting species extinction is possible, and senior officials from nearly 200 countries gathered at the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) summit in Nagoya are currently negotiating the best plan of action to achieve this.

One of the twenty 'targets' under discussion in Nagoya is 'Target 12', which calls for the prevention of the extinction and decline of known threatened species and improvement in the conservation status
by 2020.

Jane Smart, Director of IUCN’s Biodiversity Conservation Group, tells us about the latest developments related to 'Target 12':