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There are more wild tigers than previously thought. But with a global maximum of 5,578 individuals, the panthera tigris remains an endangered species, the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) said on Thursday.

According to IUCN, wild tiger population is over 40% worldwide.

The last estimate of the global population of wild tigers dates back to 2015. The new count estimates the number of these elegant cats with black-striped orange fur at between 3726 and 5578.

The 40% jump “is explained by improvements in monitoring techniques that show there are more tigers than previously thought and that the world’s tiger population is stable or increasing,” the IUCN writes in an update to its Red List. Threatened species, it indicates.

“Population trends indicate that programs such as IUCN’s Integrated Tiger Habitat Conservation Program are effective and that recovery is possible as long as conservation efforts continue,” notes IUCN, which has more than 1,400 member organizations.

However, the tiger is not out of the wild and is an endangered species. “Major threats to tigers include poaching, hunting and poaching of their prey, and habitat fragmentation and destruction due to increasing pressures from agriculture and human settlements,” the IUCN points out.

“To protect this species, it is necessary to expand and consolidate protected areas, ensure they are effectively managed, and work with local communities in and around tiger habitats,” he adds.

A migrant king

On the other hand, the migratory Monarch butterfly, a majestic butterfly capable of traveling thousands of kilometers every year to breed, has joined the IUCN Red List, mainly due to climate change and its habitat destruction.

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The IUCN notes that this subspecies of the monarch butterfly (Tanus plexippus) has declined “by 22% to 72% over the past decade” in North America.

“This Red List update highlights the fragility of natural wonders such as the unique display of monarch butterflies that migrate thousands of miles,” IUCN Director General Dr. Bruno Oberle said in a press release.

Logging, deforestation, but also pesticides and herbicides “kill the host plant butterflies and milkweeds on which monarch butterfly larvae feed,” says the IUCN.

“On the Verge of Collapse”

“It’s heartbreaking to see monarch butterflies and their extraordinary migration teeter on the brink of collapse,” said Anna Walker of the New Mexico Biopark Society, who led the monarch butterfly assessment.

Western populations have declined by about 99.9% since the 1980s. The Great Eastern population declined by 84% between 1996 and 2014.

“The question of whether there are enough butterflies to maintain populations and prevent their extinction remains a concern,” warns the IUCN. For Anna Walker, there are “signs of hope” in the mobilization of the public and organizations to protect this butterfly and its habitats.

Endangered sturgeons

According to the list, the situation for sturgeons – and migrants – has gone from bad to worse, including that of the beluga, known for its caviar and meaty eggs.

“All sturgeon species still alive and migrating in the Northern Hemisphere are now threatened with extinction due to dams and poaching,” notes the IUCN. Of the world’s 26 remaining sturgeon species, 100% are now threatened with extinction, a steeper decline than previously thought due to hunting or migration barriers.

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The lake sturgeon (Acipenser dabrianus) has been upgraded from Critically Endangered to Endangered in the wild. The reassessment also confirmed the extinction of the Chinese paddlefish (Psephurus gladius).

The Red List classifies species into one of eight threat categories. A total of 147,517 species were assessed in the latest edition, with 41,459 species threatened with extinction: of these, 9,065 are critically endangered; 16,094 are at risk and 16,300 are considered vulnerable.

The Red List created in 1964 includes 902 endangered species and 82 endangered species in the wild.

This article was published automatically. Sources: ats / afp

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