IUCN Species Programme, in conjunction with the IUCN Species Survival Commission (SSC) and partners, are driving the fight to save species for people and nature through many initiatives, including the continuing development of The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species™, and supporting on the ground conservation projects through Save Our Species (SOS) and the Integrated Tiger Habitat Conservation Programme (ITHCP).
Species are the building blocks of life, the natural resources that humans rely on every day. They provide us with food; fuel; clothes and medicine.They purify water and air; prevent soil erosion; regulate climate and pollinate crops.They also provide a vital resource for economic activities - such as tourism, fisheries and forestry - as well as having significant cultural, aesthetic and spiritual values.
- An estimated 8 to15 million species exist
- 1.9 million species have been discovered and named
The ever increasing human population is placing enormous pressure on the planet and many species are heading toward extinction. Habitat destruction, the spread of invasive species, illegal wildlife trade, pollution and climate change are major threats.
- Species extinction is occurring at up to 1,000 times the natural rate
- Nearly 80,000 species assessed on The IUCN Red List and around 30% are threatened with extinction
The unprecedented loss of species is diminishing the quality of our lives and our basic economic security. Increased action and governmental commitment is needed to save species.