Fish in the Oder and certain insects: From the point of view of the environmental foundation WWF, stocks in Germany are also among the losers of the year in the animal world.
This emerges from the organization's year-end balance sheet on Thursday. With endangered animals from other regions of the world, the selected losers are therefore representative of the fate of thousands of species. More than 42,100 animal and plant species are now on the Red List as threatened. However, the WWF also names winners - and thus examples of successful protection.
The WWF lists the following as losers:
- Reindeer: The world's largest population of wild reindeer in the Taimyr region in the Russian Arctic was one million animals in 2000. It is now a quarter of that. In particular, the climate crisis and poaching threatened the animals, the foundation said.
- Hoverfly: The important pollinators in Europe are threatened by land use change, pesticides and the climate crisis. Around 315 of 890 species in Europe are threatened, it said, citing the Red List of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).
- White rhino: For these animals with their sought-after horns, poachers are the main danger: In Africa, the stocks have fallen from 20,600 to almost 16,000 in the past nine years.
- Emperor penguin: WWF criticizes that steps for better protection were missing in 2022. "With current greenhouse gas emissions, between 80 and 100 percent of all known emperor penguin colonies are at risk of near disappearance by 2100."
- The WWF counts Odra fish and sturgeon among the big losers in 2022. The "man-made catastrophe" in the summer was also a setback for the reintroduction of the Baltic sturgeon because thousands of young fish died. There are also problems elsewhere: With a view to IUCN data, the WWF writes that the sword sturgeon has been considered extinct worldwide since this year, the Yangtze sturgeon in the wild and the smooth dick in the EU.
A selection of the winners:
- Tigers: Populations have recovered in several countries, sources said. Nepal is particularly successful. But stocks also recovered well in Bhutan, Russia, China and India.
- Certain sharks and rays: Better protection of some species was recently decided so as not to endanger stocks through international trade. That was an important decision, because a third of the more than 1,200 shark and ray species are threatened. By far the biggest threat is overfishing.
- Humpback whale in Australia: It was removed from the list of endangered species there because of a significant increase in numbers. However, more protection is needed in the face of dangers such as fishing, shipping and environmental pollution, the WWF demanded.
- Loggerhead turtle. The stocks are recovering, reports the foundation. In the USA and on Cape Verde, more nests have recently been found than in decades.
The WWF emphasized that if the destruction of nature continues to increase rapidly, we humans will also be among the big losers. The agreement on biodiversity that was passed before Christmas at the World Nature Summit in Montreal, Canada, gives hope. "The implementation has to work now. We don't get a second chance to save our planet," affirmed WWF board member Christoph Heinrich.