National Geographic
Menu

Tag archives for IUCN

New Species for the IUCN Red List

The biodiversity of life on Earth is disappearing faster than at any time in human history. Among the many people sounding the alarm of our disappearing natural history the IUCN Red List is the instrument that is used to measure biodiversity loss and the species that are most at risk of extinction. People like Elizabeth…

The Highest Conservation Price

In all the money that is devoted to the conservation of the most charismatic species, there is one that has been lifted far above what I thought was the highest plateau of funds devoted to conservation. You might at first think of the Giant Panda. You, however, as I was, would be wrong; although millions…

The Global Status of Sharks

Hunter S. Thompson once wrote “It was the Law of the Sea, they said. Civilization ends at the waterline. Beyond that, we all enter the food chain, and not always right at the top.” While he was talking about piracy and salvage in the Florida Keys, there is an ecological attractiveness in this statement that…

5 Countries Putting All Their Money on Species

Nations throughout Africa have The Big Five (the little five too), Australia has Koalas and Kangaroos, the United States has the Bald Eagle, and Canada has the noble Beaver. Every corner of the world has its species that help to define cultures, geographies, and national identity. However, these five nations have taken their pride in…

Your Favorite Species

For three years I taught Animal Biology labs to undergraduate students at George Mason University. Extra credit assignments were not permitted, so I liked to build in a few intermittent low-ball quiz questions to provide some levity to an otherwise strict and challenging syllabus. My favorite question to ask was “what is your favorite species?”…

The Fall and Rise of the Amphibian Empire

In 1970, a group of experts on frogs, toads, salamanders, and caecilians noticed that populations of the Yosemite Park Toad in California had suddenly crashed. The habitat was suitable, there seemed to be nothing wrong but their numbers had crashed to very low levels. People scratched their heads and thought of it as just one…

Should Species Be Paid Royalties?

Perhaps one of the most interesting ways that people use species is to support our own actions, beliefs, and loyalties. Some of the most recognizable mascots and brands in the world are based on the qualities associated with a species or, more often than not, the actual species itself. Our cultures are filled with businesses,…

The Once and Future Common

The conservation of biodiversity through the use of information contained in The IUCN Red List is especially tailored towards the conservation of species that are threatened with extinction. It is natural that the affinity and resources for conservation would turn towards these species and in this regard The IUCN Red List has been exceptionally valuable…

To Save Coral Reefs, Start With Parrotfish

  Coral reefs are very complex ecosystems, but luckily managing them sustainably is not. Simply don’t catch fish faster than they reproduce, don’t damage the corals or pollute the water, reduce atmospheric CO2, and protect some areas as marine reserves. That’s easier said than done, and it’s not news. What is new is that an…

Red List of Threatened Species: B-Sides

Last week IUCN released its first Red List update of 2014. Within the thousands of species added to or updated on the Red List in 2014 we uncovered interesting and important data about some popular species (read about it here). In addition to these species, The IUCN Red List is also a source of data…

World Cup Mascot: Explaining the Armadillo

The Brazilian three-banded armadillo, which rolls itself into a soccer-ball-like sphere, is dwindling in its native habitat.

Conservation Group Helps Zoos and Aquariums “Show the Wild Face of Climate Change”

People often ask me what zoos and aquariums around the world are doing to promote climate issue awareness and to reduce their own carbon footprint. Since zoological facilities are deemed high profile stewards of nature and natural resources, the expectation has been that these living institutions should be at the forefront of the climate control…

2014 IUCN Red List Update: Soccer, Slippers, Sushi, and Strepsirrhini

Twice a year, the IUCN Red List is updated to include species that have been assessed for the first time or re-assessments of species that need updating. In the first update of 2014, we call attention to the Brazilian mascot of the FIFA World Cup, seductive Slipper Orchids, an expensive and Endangered Japanese delicacy, and…

IUCN Red List Stops Wildlife Trafficking

If you’re at all familiar, you know the world of wildlife trafficking is as serious as business gets. Although the case is strong against the morality of trade in threatened species, like trade in illegal drugs, it has a potent financial draw. All over the world people conceal species in every conceivable way as they…

New Species of Mammals

In 2008 the IUCN Red List had assessed the conservation status of all known mammal species. Since then, about 200 new species of mammal have been described by science in over 60 countries. These include 72 species of bats, 74 species of rodents, 14 species of primates, 4 species of carnivore, 2 species of dolphin,…