Editorial: Hans Friederich
25 November 2011 | Article
Dear Members, dear readers, welcome to this European Newsletter dedicated to animal and plant species.
Just a few weeks ago, the latest update of the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species declared the Western Black Rhino extinct. Can you imagine a dry savannah and rhinos roaming on it? Forget it, it is gone forever.
But what is happening in Europe? Are species surviving in our increasingly industrialized and urban world?
The latest assessments of the European Red List reveal an alarming situation for many species living in freshwater ecosystems, with almost half of all the mollusc species threatened with extinction. Many other species are also in poor conditions.
We, at IUCN, do our best to provide policy-makers with the most up to date and sound scientific data on biodiversity. But this is not enough to save rhinos, molluscs and others from extinction.
We call our policy and decision-makers to take bolder steps to better protect species. The launch of the European Red List last week at the European Commission in Brussels called for increased action to put in practice more conservation measures for European species.
The message is clear: We have the knowledge and tools, all we need now is to act!
In this newsletter you will find the data of our assessments on 6,000 European species and examples of how conservation has helped improve the situation for some species. We have also interviewed one of our experts on the main threats faced by the most threatened group – freshwater molluscs. You will read about some new projects in the European region and lots more.