10 Aug The 9 Levels of Conservation Status And Why It Is Important To Know Them
What is Convervation Status?
The classification of conservation status is used to identify the level of extinction of living species, both animals and plants. The purpose of conservation status is to protect and preserve living species. Conservation status can be granted by any government or institution concerned with biodiversity issues. As a result, the conservation status of each country may differ; for example, an animal may be protected in some countries but not in others.
The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species and the CITES Appendices are two of the most widely used conservation statuses in the world.
The two institutions’ statuses are not legally binding until they are adopted by a country in their respective legal systems. Usually in the form of laws or regulations issued by a country’s government or the authorities that fall under it.
The 9 Levels of Conservation Status
1. EX: Extinct
Extinct (EX) is the conservation status given to a species where it has been proven that the last individual of a species has died. For instance, the infamous Dodo bird, Golden Toad and tasmanian tiger. The IUCN notes that there are 723 animals and 86 plants that have been declared extinct.
2. EW: Extinct in the Wild
Extinct In The Wild (EW) is a conservation status designated for species whose existence is only identified in particular places such as zoos, captivity, and environments outside their natural habitat.
3. CR: Critically Endangered
Critically Endangered (CR) is a conservation status assigned to species that are on the verge of extinction. Usually the population is very small and the habitat is limited to a certain area. The Portland Ridge Frog, Javan rhinoceros, and Butterfly SplitFin are a few examples.
4. EN: Endangered
Endangered (EN) species are those that are at very high risk of extinction and are expected to become extinct in the near future. In most cases, the population is relatively small.
5. VU: Vulnerable
Vulnerable (VU) is a conservation status for a category of species that is at risk of extinction in the wild in the future.
6. NT: Near Threatened
Near Threatened (NT) is a conservation status classification for species that are on the brink of being vulnerable to extinction.
7. LC: Least Concern
Least Concern (LC) is a category from the IUCN for species that have been evaluated but do not fall into any category as threatened based on the regulations given.
8. DD: Data Deficient
Data Deficient (DD) is a conservation status that is given to species that have been evaluated but do not yet have enough data to be classified.
9. NE: Not Evaluated
Not Evaluated (NE) is a category of conservation status that is not evaluated based on IUCN criteria.
The importance of animal existence to human life
Protecting other living beings is highly critical because it prevents our native fish, plants, and wildlife from becoming extinct. Once they’re gone, they’re gone for good, and there’s no turning back. Even the extinction of a single species can have far-reaching consequences for the rest of the ecosystem, as the effects are felt throughout the food chain.
Biodiversity is essential for an ecosystem to be healthy and functional. The ecosystem is fragile. Taking wildlife out of its natural habitat is bound to have disastrous consequences. When a single species goes extinct, the entire food chain is disrupted, affecting all species. Similarly, a growth in the population of a species can have a negative impact on the ecological equilibrium. If carnivores become extinct, the number of herbivorous animals will increase, resulting in a distorted ecosystem.
The benefits of preserving threatened and endangered species are invaluable, ranging from providing cures for deadly diseases to maintaining natural ecosystems and improving overall quality of life.
For more information regarding endangered animals, do take a look at: Adorable and Rare Land-Dwelling Animal that Almost Extinct, There are 5 of Them Here.