IUCN fears planet is entering sixth wave of extinctions with research from Australia revealing more risks to reptiles
More than 26,000 of the world’s species are now threatened, according to the latest red list assessment of the natural world, adding to fears the planet is entering a sixth wave of extinctions.
New research, particularly in Australia, has widened the scope of the annual stocktake, which is compiled by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), and revealed the growing range of risks to flora and fauna.
Nineteen of the species previously on the list have moved to a higher level of concern. They include the precious stream toad – Ansonia smeagol – (named after Gollum in Lord of the Rings), which is being decimated by tourist pollution in Malaysia; two types of Japanese earthworm that are threatened by habitat loss, agrochemicals, and radioactive fallout from the Fukushima nuclear disaster; and the Bartle Frere cool-skink, a slinky Australian reptile whose habitat has shrunk – as a result of global warming – to a 200-metre band at the peak of the tallest mountain in Queensland. The Guardian