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India has 988 endangered species on IUCN ‘Red List’

India adds 15 species to list of threatened species in 2014, but climbs down a spot to seventh position.

On the Brink
On the Brink

India has added 15 more species to the “Red List” of threatened species published by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) in 2014, but the country has climbed down a spot to the seventh position.

By the year-end, India had 988 threatened species on the list, which lists critically endangered, endangered and vulnerable species. In 2013, the number was 973. With 659 species in 2008, the increase over seven years is 50 per cent, in part due to better research identifying more threatened species and deforestation.

By adding 37 species, China seemed to have helped India improve its rank.

“Apart from habitat loss, it is research and surveys that add species to the ‘Red List’. Studies for some endemic species are yet to be conducted in India, to give a better picture of their status,” said P.O. Nameer, South Asian coordinator, in situ, Conservation Breeding Specialist Group, Species Survival Commission, IUCN.

“This is definitely a concern … There is a tendency of decision-makers to focus on ‘charismatic’ mammals for conservation, while others are left out of programmes … A more holistic approach is needed to conservation in India.”

A recent World Bank mapping of endangered mammals shows India as having the fourth largest number of threatened species in the world, 31 of them endemic to the region.Hindu

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