Nearly two in five sharks are threatened with extinction due to overfishing, the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has warned in an update of the wildlife Red List that also listed Indonesia's Komodo dragons as "endangered". Further, nearly 30 per cent percent of the 138,374 species assessed by IUCN for its survival watchlist are now at risk of vanishing in the wild forever.
For decades, habitat loss, overexploitation and illegal trade has threatened the global widlife population. And now climate change is emerging as a new threat, the report stated.
Four Tuna Species No Longer Endangered
However, the report also has some good news: Four tuna species have stepped back from the edge of extinction. Two bluefin species, a yellowfin, and an albacore are no longer critically endangered or have moved off the leading international list of endangered species entirely.
The Atlantic bluefin tuna, which was once listed as endangered, now qualifies for a status of least concern. Similalry, albacore and yellowfin tuna were classified as "least concern". Meanwhile, the southern bluefin tuna has improved from critically endangered to endangered.
"Despite increasing pressures on our oceans, species can recover if states truly commit to sustainable practices," said Dr Bruno Oberle, IUCN Director General.
Komdo dragons are the world's largest lizards. As much as 30 percent of their habitat could affected by rising sea levels over the next 45 years, the report has warned.
The revised Red List demonstrates the escalating threat that shark species face throughout the world's oceans. Shark species are currently threatened with extinction in 37 per cent of the world's oceans, suggesting that adequate management measures are lacking over much of the world's oceans. In a statement, the IUCN stated that all vulnerable shark and ray species are overfished, with 31 per cent of them being further harmed by habitat loss and degradation, and 10 per cent by climate change.