Burning Issues

Cartoon of the Month

Jasjyot Singh Hans is an Animation Film Design student at NID, Ahmedabad. His interests
include illustrating and reading graphic narratives. He is also environmentally aware and
concerned, like any thinking young man/woman of today is.  His take on 'extinction' looming large over a large number of species, is humorous but also thought provoking. 

Here is an excerpt from a report published in http://www.arkive.org

One in five vertebrate species are threatened with extinction according to a landmark study
launched by the IUCN on Wednesday 27th October 2010 at the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), in Nagoya, Japan. The timely study, which is the most comprehensive assessment of the world’s vertebrates to date, confirms our fears that across the globe vertebrates are experiencing an extinction crisis. However, it also confirms that the situation would be a lot worse if not for conservation efforts.

" The study, which involved some 174 authors from 115 institutions and 38 countries, with
voluntary contributions from more than 3,000 scientists, is published in the international
journal Science, and used the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species to investigate the status of around 25,000 vertebrate species and how this status has changed over time. The results reveal that, on average, 50 species of mammal, bird and amphibian are pushed closer to extinction each year. The situation has been most stark in Southeast Asia where many species are threatened by habitat loss due to the planting of crops like oil palm, deforestation by commercial timber operations, agricultural conversion to rice paddies, and unsustainable hunting.

The study largely focused on vertebrates, but also reported that several other groups of
species assessed by the IUCN face a similar fate. The ancient group of plants known as cycads are in a particularly critical state with 63 percent of assessed species threatened with extinction, largely due to extremely high levels of illegal harvesting and trade. Dragonflies and reef-building corals also did not fare well, with 13 and 33 percent of assessed species threatened with extinction respectively.

It is not all doom and gloom, however, as the study also reveals the positive impact of
conservation efforts for the first time, with the results suggesting that the status of
biodiversity would have declined by at least an additional 20 percent if conservation action
had not been taken. There are encouraging stories of 64 mammal, bird and amphibian species that have improved in status due to successful conservation action."

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