平原斑馬。圖片來源：Peter Steward（CC BY-NC 2.0）。
非洲的三種羚羊——騮毛小羚羊（Cephalophus dorsalis）、白腹小羚羊（Cephalophus leucogaster）和黃背小羚羊（Cephalophus silvicultor）——也從無危提升至近危。雖然在保護區內數量穩定，保護區外族群持續因為非法狩獵和棲地流失而減少。
「夏威夷原生植物的存續危機可能發生在其他島嶼或是封閉生態系統。」IUCN SSC夏威夷植物專家小組成員基爾（Matt Keir）說。基爾呼籲立即想辦法阻止外來種的散佈，以保護數量稀少的物種。
澳洲原生種刺巢鼠（Leporillus conditor）由於復育有成，從易危降至近危。復育方式包括重新引進至無天敵地區。刺巢鼠是僅存的築巢嚙齒類。牠的近親小刺巢鼠（Leporillus apicalis）已經於20世紀滅絕。刺巢鼠為築巢而分泌的樹脂，只要不碰到水，可以千年不壞。
大貓熊。圖片來源：momo（CC BY 2.0）。
Today’s IUCN Red List update also reports the decline of the Plains Zebra, Equus quagga, due to illegal hunting.
The once widespread and abundant Plains Zebra has moved from a listing of Least Concern to Near Threatened. The population has reduced by 24 percent in the past 14 years from around 660,000 to a current estimate of just over 500,000 animals.
In many countries Plains Zebra are only found in protected areas, yet population reductions have been recorded in 10 out of the 17 range states since 1992. The Plains Zebra is threatened by hunting for bushmeat and skins, especially when they move out of protected areas.
Three species of antelope found in Africa – Bay Duiker, Cephalophus dorsalis, White-bellied Duiker, Cephalophus leucogaster, and Yellow-backed Duiker, Cephalophus silvicultor, – also have been moved from a listing of Least Concern to Near Threatened. While the populations of these species within protected areas are relatively stable, those found in other areas are decreasing due to continued illegal hunting and habitat loss.
“Illegal hunting and habitat loss are still major threats driving many mammal species towards extinction,” says Carlo Rondinini, coordinator of the mammal assessment at Sapienza University of Rome “We have now reassessed nearly half of all mammals. While there are some successes to celebrate, this new data must act as a beacon to guide the conservation of those species which continue to be under threat.”
The IUCN warns of the growing extinction threat to Hawaiian plants posed by invasive species.
Thirty-eight of the 415 endemic Hawaiian plant species assessed for this update are listed as Extinct and four other species have been listed as Extinct in the Wild, meaning they only occur in cultivation.
Invasive species such as pigs, goats, rats, slugs, and non-native plants are destroying the native plants of Hawaii. The latest results show that of the 415 endemic Hawaiian plant species assessed so far for the IUCN Red List – out of about 1,093 plant species endemic to Hawaii – 87 percent are threatened with extinction.
“What we see happening in Hawaii is foretelling what will happen in other island or contained ecological systems,” said Matt Keir, a member of the IUCN SSC Hawaiian Plant Specialist Group, urging action to stop the spread of invasive species and to protect species with small population sizes.
This new data will be used to influence action such as listing species under the U.S. Endangered Species Act, which will help to secure funding for conservation programs to target and control invasive species, and to fence wild areas to protect them from large mammals.
Improved biosecurity to stop invasive species from entering the country is essential, say IUCN experts.
This update of The IUCN Red List brings some good news for the Giant Panda and the Tibetan Antelope, demonstrating that conservation action can deliver positive results.
Previously listed as Endangered, the Giant Panda, Ailuropoda melanoleuca, is now listed as Vulnerable, as its population has grown due to effective forest protection and reforestation.
The improved status confirms that the Chinese government’s efforts to conserve this species are effective. Still, climate change is predicted to eliminate more than 35 percent of the Panda’s bamboo habitat in the next 80 years and as a result, the Panda population is projected to decline, reversing the gains made during the last two decades.
To protect this species, it is critical that the effective forest protection measures are continued and that emerging threats are addressed.
Due to successful conservation actions, the Tibetan Antelope, Pantholops hodgsonii, has been moved from a listing as Endangered to Near Threatened.
The population underwent a severe decline from around one million to an estimated 65,000-72,500 in the 1980s and early 1990s. This was the result of commercial poaching for the valuable underfur, called shahtoosh, which is used to make shawls. It takes three to five hides to make a single shawl, and as the wool cannot be sheared or combed, the animals are killed. Rigorous protection has been enforced since then, and the population is currently likely to be between 100,000 and 150,000.
Other conservation successes include the Greater Stick-nest Rat, Leporillus conditor, endemic to Australia, which has improved status, moving from Vulnerable to Near Threatened. This is due to a successful species recovery plan, which has involved reintroductions and introductions to predator-free areas. This unique nest-building rodent is the last of its kind, with its smaller relative the Lesser Stick-nest Rat, Leporillus apicalis, having died out in the 20th Century. The resin created by the rats to build their nests is so strong that they can last for thousands of years if they are not exposed to water.
The Bridled Nailtail Wallaby, Onychogalea fraenata, has also improved in status, having been moved from Endangered to Vulnerable. Endemic to Australia, this once common species had a steep population decline during the 19th and early 20th centuries due to the impacts of invasive species and habitat loss. A successful translocation conservation program establishing new populations within protected areas is enabling this species to begin to recover.