In a disheartening revelation, a recent survey has shed light on the immense risks faced by China’s wildlife, surpassing those of many other nations, owing to the destructive forces of urbanization and encroachment on natural habitats.
According to a report unveiled by the Chinese Ministry of Ecology and Environment, based on the insights of 213 experts who meticulously surveyed over 4,300 indigenous animal species, the findings paint a concerning picture that calls for immediate action.
The report underscores the devastating impacts of rapid urban expansion, destructive infrastructure development, and unchecked exploitation of animal populations. These factors have pushed a significant number of species to the brink of extinction.
Experts emphatically state that “the risk of vertebrate extinction in China far exceeds the global average,” cautioning that “species across all animal groups face the dual threats of local and global extinction.”
Elaborating further, they note, “Human economic activities have reshaped the landscape, resulting in the loss and fragmentation of wildlife habitats, leading to declining vertebrate populations and even extinction.”
Alarming statistics shared by the Ministry of Ecology and Environment reveal that nearly 30% of reptile species in China are teetering on the brink of extinction, a figure significantly higher than the global average of 21.2%. The number of endangered reptile species in China has risen from 110 in 2004 to 137.
Similarly, over 40% of amphibian species in China face an imminent risk of extinction, surpassing the global average. The count of endangered amphibian species in China has surged from 128 in 2004 to 176.
Amidst these dire circumstances, there are glimmers of hope.
In a welcome development, the Ministry of Ecology and Environment reported that the population of wild giant pandas has exceeded 1,800 individuals. Consequently, the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has downgraded the threat level of giant pandas from endangered to vulnerable.
The ministry also revealed a decline in the number of endangered mammal species, from 223 in 2004 to 178 in the latest survey.
Nevertheless, it remains crucial to note that this figure still represents a significant portion, accounting for 26.4% of China’s total mammal species, surpassing the global average of 21.8% reported by the IUCN in 2014.
These findings serve as a clarion call, reminding us of the urgent need to prioritize comprehensive conservation efforts and embrace sustainable practices to safeguard China’s rich biodiversity. It is imperative that we work collectively to protect and secure a promising future for the remarkable wildlife that graces this nation’s lands.