The International Day for Biological Diversity is an observance and not a public holiday. The Convention on Biological Diversity came into force on 29th December 1993. The date was later moved to 22nd May in 2001 because of the several holidays in late December.
Each year this International day focuses on a specific theme. The theme for 2016 is 'Mainstreaming Biodiversity; Sustaining People and their Livelihoods.'The main objective of the International day for Biological Diversity is to spread awareness for the preservation of endangered habitats of plants and animals.
So, let's check out the 10 endangered species of animals on this occasion.
Tigers may become extinct within the next decade due to poaching, loss of habitat and fragmentation. Some extinct species of tigers include Bali, Caspian and Javan. The surviving species of tigers include Bengal, Indochinese, Malayan, Siberian, South China and Sumatran. Tiger conservation can be achieved by zero poaching, protection of habitat, monitoring tigers and eliminating their trade.
Polar bears also known as maritime bears are usually spotted in the Arctic Ocean. They are classified as an endangered species because 3 of the 19 polar bear subpopulations are currently in decline. The decline in their numbers is reported due to loss of habitat, pollution and hunting. US Geological Survey scientists have predicted that two-third of the world's polar bear may get extinct by 2050.
This species of Walrus is facing great threat due to global warming. Pacific walruses are the inhabitants of Arctic sea and are predicted to vanish completely by 2030. Young walruses are also facing threats from predators, humans and their mature counterparts. Besides these problems, acidification and oil development are also increasing the incidence of oil spills in the sea thereby threatening the existence of walruses.
The Magellanic penguin is found in South America and Brazil. It is tagged as 'Near Threatened' species by the IUCN because their numbers are decreasing with every passing year. Nearly 20,000 adults and 22,000 juveniles are killed every year at the Argentina coast due to chronic oil pollution and climatic changes.
The leatherback sea turtle is the fourth heaviest reptile in the world. Instead of a bony shell, this turtle possesses oily and fleshy skin on its back. They are generally spotted in the open ocean and prefer to avoid the water bodies protected by coral reefs. Leatherback turtles are designated as extinct species under the US Endangered Species Act. They are facing extinction due to chemical and physical pollution.
Bluefin tuna is found in the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea. It has now become extinct in the Black Sea. Sushi is a Japanese delicacy which is prepared from the meat of Bluefish Tuna. Commercial fishing and international trading of Bluefin Tuna has rendered it as vulnerable species in the world.
Mountain gorillas are the descendants of native monkeys and apes in Africa. They have dark brown eyes and long arms. These herbivorous animals are very social and prefer to stay in groups. Despite their population growth, mountain gorillas are listed as 'Critically Endangered Species' on the IUCN red list.
Monarch butterfly is a North American butterfly with black, orange and white wings. There is a ten-fold drop reported in the population of this eastern monarch butterfly over the last decade. It is predicted that this species of a butterfly might become extinct within the next 20 years. Sanctuaries and reserves have been made at certain locations in Mexico and California for the conservation of Monarch butterflies.
The Javan rhinoceros are the most endangered rhino species with only 60 animals surviving in Ujung Kulon National Park in Java, Indonesia. This rarest mammal is facing threat due to poaching, disease, deteriorating habitats and loss of genetic diversity. If we lose this limited population in Java, the whole species of Javan rhinos will vanish.
The giant panda is a conservation reliant bear found in South Central China. This rare species is facing threats of extinction due to farming, poaching, habitat loss and deforestation. The giant panda is one of the few animals in the world whose natural inhabitant status received the designation of World Heritage Site by UNESCO.
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