This week, the latest report from the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has been released, and – sadly – claims that the number of endangered animals and plants increased in 2015. Naturally, this gives us food for thought here at Noah’s Ark Zoo Farm, making us more determined than ever to focus on our ongoing conservation efforts.
The ‘Red List’ of endangered species has been updated, reports the International Business Times website, and shows that 22,784 species of plants and animals are threatened with extinction this year, up when compared to the 22,413 figure of 2014.
Although there are some advances – for example, saving species such as the Iberian Lynx – the report warns that population declines overshadow these successes.
Chief of IUCN, Inger Anderson, has stated that “our natural world is becoming increasingly vulnerable” and that the time has come when we all have to pull together to save several species from dying out.
The African Lion has come under the spotlight; despite being labelled ‘vulnerable’ due to South Africa’s conservation efforts, in West Africa they are labelled as ‘critically endangered’ – something that is down to the over-hunting of prey by humans combined with loss of habitat. The notable decline in the lion population extends to East Africa, which is “historically a stronghold for lions.”
It’s not just the lion population that is declining; the new report also noted the fall in other species’ numbers – for example, the African Golden Cat and the New Zealand Sea Lion.
Back in 2011, around 200 governments made a pledge to avoid the extinction of known species by 2020. Although no species became extinct this year, many have come close. Anthony Barnosky of the University of California has said: “We have maybe a decade to turn the boat in the right direction […] if we don’t start cranking the rudder hard now, we won’t make the turn in time.”
Here at Noah’s Ark Zoo Farm, we realise that time is of the essence when it comes to endangered species, and this latest report has highlighted this further. We are dedicated to our conservation efforts and are honoured to be able to provide a home for endangered species. We work as part of some of the European Endangered Species Programs (EEPs) for African elephants, Siamang Gibbons and White-headed vultures.
We also know that in order to make a difference, we need to educate the public about the threats faced by such species, raising awareness about ecology and promoting charitable support. When you visit our zoo you will be able to get up-close to some of these endangered species, including our Bengal Tigers, Gibbons and Lemurs – all of which are classified as ‘endangered’ on the IUCN Red List.
We hope that you can help us in our conservation efforts to save these amazing animals and look forward to welcoming you to Noah’s Ark Zoo Farm soon.