Seeing Red

188 Species Added to Red List

The World Conservation Union has added 188 animals and plants to the latest edition of its Red List, a tally of the flora and fauna most threatened with extinction, updated every four years. The additions bring the depressing total up to 16,306 species, and researchers admit that’s a low estimate of the world’s imperiled animals and plants.

Ten Galapagos Island coral species joined their endangered brethren on the list for the first time; the African lowland gorilla moved from endangered to critically endangered. While 70 percent of the assessed plants are on the Red List, only one species was declared officially extinct: the woolly-stalked begonia, which was last seen in 1898.

The conservation group estimates that extinction rates would be 100 to 1,000 times slower if humans weren’t around. The one positive note was the Mauritius echo parakeet, which moved from critically endangered to endangered, and was the only species to see its status improve.

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