The bluefin tuna has escaped being placed on the endangered species list, but the majestic fish prized by sushi lovers will be listed as a “species of concern” by the federal agency that oversees America’s fisheries.After extensive scientific review, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration announced Friday it has determined that bluefin tuna does not warrant protection under the Endangered Species Act. The agency conducted the review after the Center for Biological Diversity submitted a petition seeking an endangered status for the fish, claiming the species faces possible extinction because of overfishing and habitat degradation, including effects of the BP oil spill on bluefin spawning grounds in the Gulf of Mexico.Even though bluefin will not be listed as endangered or threatened, NOAA officials said they still have concerns about the fish, which can swim at speeds faster than 50 mph and grow to more than half a ton in size.(via)
Leatherback turtles are protected by various international treaties and agreements as well as national laws. They are listed in Appendix I of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Flora and Fauna , which means that international trade of this species is prohibited. Leatherbacks are listed in Appendices I and II of the Convention on Migratory Species and are protected under the following auspices of CMS: the Memorandum of Understanding on the Conservation and Management of Marine Turtles and their Habitats of the Indian Ocean and South-East Asia and the Memorandum of Understanding Concerning Conservation Measures for Marine Turtles of the Atlantic Coast of Africa. Leatherbacks are protected under Annex II of the Specially Protected Areas and Wildlife Protocol of the Cartagena Convention. The U.S. is a party of the Inter-American Convention for the Protection and Conservation of Sea Turtles , which is the only international treaty dedicated exclusively to marine turtles.(via)
Mountain Gorilla is one of the two subspecies of the Eastern Gorilla. There are two populations. One is found in the Virunga volcanic mountains of Central Africa, within three National Parks: Mgahinga, in south-west Uganda; Volcanoes, in north-west Rwanda; and Virunga in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo . The other is found in Uganda’s Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. Mountain gorillas are listed as Endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature Red List of Threatened Species . Endangered means the maximum population reduction over a three-generation period from the 1970s to 2030 is suspected to exceed 50%, hence qualifying this species for Endangered under criterion A4.(via)
The Monarch butterfly is one of the most familiar of butterflies; it is a widespread, common species. The Monarch is native to North and South America, but spread throughout much of the world in the 1800′s. Although the Monarch is not an endangered species the annual migration is considered a threatened phenomenon by IUCN. Since there are very few overwintering sites where the adults aggregate their populations become vulnerable. These sites are threatened by human activities in Mexico and California. Logging, development, and agriculture are the most serious threats. In order to save these sites the Monarch Project was created in 1984.(via)
The Javan Rhinoceros is a member of the family Rhinocerotidae and one of five extant rhinoceroses. Javan Rhinos are endangered because mostly humans and the eruption of Krakatau Volcano in Indonesia. Most people hunt them for their horns because it is very strong and is good for decorations. They are in the brink of extinction and there are 60 left in the world that number probably has changed but that’s a estimate.
The giant panda is the rarest member of the bear family and among the world’s most threatened animals. It is universally loved, and has a special significance for WWF as it has been the organization’s logo since 1961, the year WWF was founded. The panda is a conservation reliant endangered species. A 2007 report shows 239 pandas living in captivity inside China and another 27 outside the country. Wild population estimates vary; one estimate shows that there are about 1,590 individuals living in the wild, while a 2006 study via DNA analysis estimated that this figure could be as high as 2,000 to 3,000. Some reports also show that the number of pandas in the wild is on the rise. However, the IUCN does not believe there is enough certainty yet to reclassify the species from Endangered to Vulnerable.(via)
The tiger is the largest cat species in the world; the largest tiger sub-species is the Siberian tiger. The approximate weight of the male is 500 pounds and the female is 300 pounds. Today, the world tiger population still only numbers about 5,000 to 7,000 animals. An intense effort is under way to save the endangered tigers. Unfortunately, tigers are still illegally hunted for their fur, bones and other parts to supply markets in China and Taiwan. Tigers have been hunted to near extinction by poachers, and all subspecies have been declared endangered.(via)
The polar bear is a bear native largely within the Arctic Circle encompassing the Arctic Ocean, its surrounding seas and surrounding land masses. It is the world’s largest land carnivore and also the largest bear, together with the omnivorous Kodiak Bear, which is approximately the same size. The U.S. Department of the Interior listed the polar bear as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act, citing the melting of Arctic sea ice as the primary threat to the polar bear. While listing the polar bear as a threatened species, the Interior Department added a seldom-used stipulation to allow oil and gas exploration and development to proceed in areas inhabited by polar bears, provided companies continue to comply with the existing restrictions of the Marine Mammal Protection Act. The main new protection for polar bears under the terms of the listing is that hunters will no longer be able to import trophies from the hunting of polar bears in Canada.(via)
The walrus is a large flippered marine mammal with a discontinuous circumpolar distribution in the Arctic Ocean and sub-Arctic seas of the Northern Hemisphere. The walrus is the only living species in the Odobenidae family and Odobenus genus. The Pacific walrus warrants protection under the Endangered Species Act, but an official rulemaking to propose that protection is currently precluded by the need to address other higher priority species, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service determined Tuesday.
Magellanic penguin is the largest of the warm-weather penguins. They have a wide black strip under their chin and another is in the shape of an upside down horseshoe on their stomachs. On their chests they have scattered black spots. According to the Wildlife Conservation Society more than 40,000 penguins in Argentina died a year in the 1980′s due to oil pollution. Over fishing depletes the ocean of the penguins food supply. When penguins have to swim further in search for food, this is less time they are able to spend nesting and raising their offspring. Offspring often die due to short food supplies. The higher climate change affects the food chain, and also threatens the Magellanic Penguin. When waters become too warm, it depletes the supply of plankton, who feed the fish, who feed the penguins.