Vietnam’s Species Face Extinction

VIETNAM NEWS

HCM CITY — Viet Nam’s biodiversity conservation efforts continue to be woeful with the number of threatened species increasing and their threat status worsening, according to the latest National Environment Report (2010).

The 2007 national Red Data Book categorises 418 species of animals and 464 species of plants as threatened, said the report released by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment on June 10.

A large number of species previously listed as vulnerable are now endangered or critically endangered, the report said.

According to the 1992-96 Red Data Book, the most severe threat status for species in Viet Nam is “endangered”, but the most severe status now is “extinct”, the report said.

Over the last decade or so, at least ten species – one flora and nine fauna – have vanished in Viet Nam, including bo xam or kouprey (Bos sauveli), te giac hai sung or Sumatran rhinoceros (Dicerorhinus sumatrensis) and heo voi or Asian tapir (Tapirus indicus), it said.

The number of globally threatened species of animals that were classified as endangered in the IUCN Red List increased to 47 species in 2010 from 46 in 2004 and 25 in 1996, the report said.

A number of species, that were considered either extinct in the wild or extinct in Viet Nam, have been found in neighbouring countries.

Natural habitat loss, overexploitation, invasive alien species, pollution, forest fires and climate change were major threats to threatened species, the report said.

Poor State management of biodiversity was also a major pressure on threatened species, it added.

The large number of globally threatened species in Viet Nam put it in the top 15 countries with declining mammal species, top 20 for birds and top 30 for plants and amphibians, the report said. — VNS

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