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Excessive farming, fishing and high temperatures threaten the fauna and flora. On the Red list are recently wild relatives of rice and wheat.

Red List: Wild rice and wheat species are under threat

Excessive farming, fishing and high temperatures threaten the fauna and flora. On the Red list are recently wild relatives of rice and wheat.

Red List: Wild rice and wheat species are under threat

Wild rice and wheat species are now on Red List – and are refore considered to be threatened. According to IUCN, world Nature Conservation Union threatens food security. "Healthy, species-rich ecosystems are fundamental to our ability to feed growing world population and to defeat hunger in world," said IUCN General director Inger Andersen at presentation of list.

Agriculture and development are detrimental to wild relatives of crops such as rice and wheat. Jane Smart, director of biodiversity of IUCN, said it was necessary to develop plants that would be able to adapt to climate change. For this, it is important to preserve wild relatives of se crops. Because only y contained genetic diversity that is important for breeding of resistance fortifying seed.

Of 25 wild rice species studied, IUCN is threatened by three. In wild wheat re are two of 26 species covered. Also 17 of 44 investigated Yamswurzelarten are considered to be threatened. Yams are a common food, especially in Africa. As IUCN has shown, se wild relatives of our crops are now in place – for example through development or too intensive grazing. In addition, use of fertilisers and pesticides in agriculture is excessive.

The IUCN regularly collects information on populations of animal, fungus and plant species. It regularly updates Red list on which threatened and extinct species are recorded. Around 91,500 species were studied for current list – a fraction of estimated ten million species of animals and plants on Earth. 25,000 of species studied are threatened according to IUCN. The number in category "Threatened by extinction" amounts to 5,583.

Extinct species on Christmas islands

According to IUCN, population of some whale and dolphin species is due to fishing and water pollution. In particular, stock of Irrawaddy (Orcaella brevirostris) and smooth schweinswals (Neophocaena asiaeorientalis) were highly endangered. Both species live in Souast Asian coastal regions and have been considered endangered for some years. Not only water pollution is dangerous for you. The animals are also often trapped in nets from which y cannot escape. The IUCN scientists have now estimated that Irrawaddy's stock has more than halved over past 60 years.

According to World Conservation Union, number of completely extinct species is 866. Since this year, Christmas Island Dwarf Bat (Pipistrellus murrayi) and three species of reptiles, which were also native to Christmas islands, are officially considered extinct. For years no living specimens had been observed. Attempts to get animals were unsuccessful.

A variant of ordinary Ring possum (Pseudocheirus Peregrinus occidentalis) is now on verge of extinction due to growing hot climate in Australia.

There are good news for two kiwi bird species in New Zealand. With help of nature conservationists, ir stock has recovered. Kiwis are only about 35 inches tall and cannot fly. This makes m susceptible to introduced predators. According to IUCN, conservationists in recent years have increasingly been fighting against such predators and increased protection of Kiwi eggs. This has paid off: both species have been able to recover and are now no longer considered highly endangered.

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