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In France, 2,430 wild species are endangered. This is what teaches us the French red list of threatened species published Wednesday March 3 by the French committee ofInternational Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), on the occasion of the day of the wild life.
“The French are well aware that gorillas, pandas and elephants are threatened with extinction, but can they name a species in our territory that is?”asks Florian Kirchner of IUCN France. There is a global red list but also national and even regional with, for example, the Jura lynx, the azure butterflies or the Corsican snail. France is also concerned by this very accelerated disappearance of wild species : the one we call the sixth extinction. Common birds, supposed to be present everywhere in our territory, are entering the red list in the vulnerable category, such as the European goldfinch.
This list is drawn up by more than 500 experts from Natural history museum, CNRS, French committee of IUCN with around 30 partner organizations, such as the Bird Protection League. They assess it by counting wild populations regularly for 13 years. Today there are nearly 14,000 species of animals, insects, plants tracked and 17.6%. And when there have been reassessments of species such as marine and terrestrial mammals in metropolitan France, the situation worsens.
It may be easier to mobilize for the lions but the observation is the same for theRhône apron, or zingel asper: a small fish very sensitive to chemical pollution and which only lives on a few loops of the river and its tributaries. It has lost 90% of its range in a century. Once it is no longer seen in this area, it will have disappeared from the face of the Earth.
This red list is not regulatory but it serves as a scientific basis then to develop protection plans and France is not the worst in this area. She puts in the resources and it works, for the reintroduction of the Pyrenean ibex, the otter, the eels. Since we no longer throw our dirty water directly into rivers, the quality of the water in the Seine has improved and today we see salmon coming up through Paris.
It’s more complicated with bears and wolves for breeders. But reintroducing a large predator means preserving large areas, including forests, to capture more carbon, to preserve our climate, to bring back other species, to recreate a natural balance. The lynx can chase deer or roe deer that trample farmers’ fields. Yet there were three lynx poached last year in eastern France despite containment. This list reminds us that there is still work to be done to limit the destruction of nature.