The Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) today released a list of Asian species that are at a conservation crossroads calling for governments to take immediate action with The Three R's Approach: Recognition, Responsibility, Recovery.
The list includes: the tiger, orangutans, Mekong giant catfish, Asian rhinos, Asian giant river turtles, and Asian vultures. The announcement was made at the IUCN's World Conservation Congress convening in Jeju, South Korea through Sept. 13.
WCS says that each species can follow the path of the passenger pigeon, which went extinct in the early 20th century, or the bison, which was saved using the 'three R's' approach. In the case of the bison, which was decimated by overhunting, its plight was recognized, responsibility was taken, and recovery resulted with more than 30,000 wild individuals in existence today. WCS was directly involved in saving the bison by breeding animals in the Bronx Zoo and working with partners to reintroduce them into protected areas in the early 1900s.
"As in the United States, it will not be the species themselves deciding which fork to take, but actions of humans using the three R's: recognition, responsibility and recovery – recognizing the problem, taking responsibility for solving it, and putting species back on the path to recovery," said WCS President and CEO Dr. Cristián Samper.
Though each Asian species on the list faces daunting challenges from a variety of factors including habitat loss, and illegal hunting and trade, WCS believes that Asian governments have the ability – and financial means – to turn the tide on extinction.
The tiger is an example of a species that could be going the way of the bison, at least in some locations, according to WCS. India took responsibility for the tiger when it announced Project Tiger in 1972. By doing so it sent a clear message that the fate of the wild tiger was in its hands and India alone would be held accountable for their future. This almost unprecedented commitment led to one of the few examples of a major Asian species undertaking a sustained recovery. Today, while problems and challenges remain, India remains committed to ensuring that tigers are conserved effectively within its boundaries. Similarly, in the Western Forest Complex in Thailand, the Thai Government is taking responsibility for protecting its tigers by taking bold steps to overcome the poaching pressures.
Other species, such as the orangutan, face a bleaker future with widespread conversion of its habitat into palm oil plantations that have decimated wild populations. Asian rhinos and giant river turtles face relentless poaching pressure for the illegal wildlife trade, while Asian vultures have been nearly wiped out due to poisoning. Mekong giant catfish numbers have plummeted due to overfishing
WCS warns that time is running out for Asia's wildlife, noting that two large mammal species – the kouprey, a type of wild cattle once found in Southeast Asia, and a Chinese freshwater dolphin species called a baiji – have gone extinct.
The Wildlife Conservation Society saves wildlife and wild places worldwide. We do so through science, global conservation, education and the management of the world's largest system of urban wildlife parks, led by the flagship Bronx Zoo. Together these activities change attitudes towards nature and help people imagine wildlife and humans living in harmony. WCS is committed to this mission because it is essential to the integrity of life on Earth. Visit wcs.org.
Special Note to the Media: If you would like to guide your readers or viewers to a Web link where they can make donations in support of helping save wildlife and wild places, please direct them to wcs.org.
WCS Digital Community:Web Sites:
Stephen Sautner | EurekAlert!
How does the loss of species alter ecosystems?
18.05.2017 | Deutsches Zentrum für integrative Biodiversitätsforschung (iDiv) Halle-Jena-Leipzig
Excess diesel emissions bring global health & environmental impacts
16.05.2017 | International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)
Staphylococcus aureus is a feared pathogen (MRSA, multi-resistant S. aureus) due to frequent resistances against many antibiotics, especially in hospital infections. Researchers at the Paul-Ehrlich-Institut have identified immunological processes that prevent a successful immune response directed against the pathogenic agent. The delivery of bacterial proteins with RNA adjuvant or messenger RNA (mRNA) into immune cells allows the re-direction of the immune response towards an active defense against S. aureus. This could be of significant importance for the development of an effective vaccine. PLOS Pathogens has published these research results online on 25 May 2017.
Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) is a bacterium that colonizes by far more than half of the skin and the mucosa of adults, usually without causing infections....
Physicists from the University of Würzburg are capable of generating identical looking single light particles at the push of a button. Two new studies now demonstrate the potential this method holds.
The quantum computer has fuelled the imagination of scientists for decades: It is based on fundamentally different phenomena than a conventional computer....
An international team of physicists has monitored the scattering behaviour of electrons in a non-conducting material in real-time. Their insights could be beneficial for radiotherapy.
We can refer to electrons in non-conducting materials as ‘sluggish’. Typically, they remain fixed in a location, deep inside an atomic composite. It is hence...
Two-dimensional magnetic structures are regarded as a promising material for new types of data storage, since the magnetic properties of individual molecular building blocks can be investigated and modified. For the first time, researchers have now produced a wafer-thin ferrimagnet, in which molecules with different magnetic centers arrange themselves on a gold surface to form a checkerboard pattern. Scientists at the Swiss Nanoscience Institute at the University of Basel and the Paul Scherrer Institute published their findings in the journal Nature Communications.
Ferrimagnets are composed of two centers which are magnetized at different strengths and point in opposing directions. Two-dimensional, quasi-flat ferrimagnets...
An Australian-Chinese research team has created the world's thinnest hologram, paving the way towards the integration of 3D holography into everyday...
24.05.2017 | Event News
23.05.2017 | Event News
22.05.2017 | Event News
26.05.2017 | Life Sciences
26.05.2017 | Life Sciences
26.05.2017 | Physics and Astronomy