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Species and Extinctions

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Aichi Biodiversity Target Twelve – Species and Extinctions – focuses on preventing the extinction of species. It states: By 2020, the extinction of known threatened species has been prevented and their conservation status, particularly of those most in decline, has been improved and sustained. 

Human pressure is causing the current rate of species extinction to be more than 100 times the known background extinction rate. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species (hyperlink: http://www.iucnredlist.org) contains a list of more than 19,000 species that are threatened globally, including in the categories of vulnerable, endangered, or critically endangered. Of these, more than 3,900 species are critically endangered. Countries may also have their own lists of additional threatened species. Preventing extinctions will require concerted efforts to reduce threats to threatened species, and to ensure adequate habitat protection. For wide-ranging species, preventing extinctions may also require coordination across boundaries with other countries and regions. In order to achieve Aichi Target 12, countries will need to identify species at risk of extinction; assess the status and distribution of these species; and, identify key threats and levels of protection for prioritized species. They will also need to undertake key actions, including developing species recovery plans, reducing threats to key species, and improving the protection status of the habitats of key species. 

Target 12 indicators may include status and trends in:

  • Abundance, distribution and extinction risk of species threatened with extinction
  • Protection of species threatened with extinction

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