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A grain of hope in the desert : Arabian oryx leaps back from near-extinction

Phys.org/news (Jun 16, 2011 )

Titre : A grain of hope in the desert : Arabian oryx leaps back from near-extinction

The regal Arabian Oryx (Oryx leucoryx), which was hunted to near extinction, is now facing a more secure future according to the latest update of the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Its wild population now stands at 1,000 individuals.

Phys.org/news (Jun 16, 2011 )

Présentation
The Arabian Oryx, a species of antelope found only on the Arabian Peninsula, is locally known as Al Maha. It is believed the last wild individual was shot in 1972. This year, thanks to successful captive breeding and re-introduction efforts, the oryx has finally qualified for a move from the Endangered category to Vulnerable on the IUCN Red List — the first time that a species that was once Extinct in the Wild has improved by three categories.

Although we are achieving successes, there are some alarming new findings. Of the 19 species of amphibian (frogs, toads and salamanders) that have been added to the IUCN Red List this year, eight are listed as Critically Endangered, including Atelopus patazensis, a species of harlequin toad from Peru, and Dendrotriton chujorum, a dwarf species of salamander from Guatemala. Amphibians remain one of the most threatened species groups with an estimated 41 percent at risk of extinction ; the main threats they face include habitat loss, pollution, disease and invasive species.

In the case of New Caledonia’s endemic reptiles, which have been assessed for the first time, two thirds (67 percent) of species within this group for which we have sufficient data are at risk of extinction. Many of these reptiles are threatened by ongoing habitat loss and fragmentation as New Caledonia’s nickel mining industry continues to expand. This is compounded by the effects of introduced species ; for example, deer and pigs damage remaining available habitat, and fire ants, which are invasive alien species, decimate lizard populations, leading to localized extinctions

Source  : Conservation International

Annonce (Phys.org/news)

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