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Extinction Risk and Conservation Status of Earth's National Animal Sybmols

NATIONAL SYMBOLS ENDANGERED POPULATION GROWTH A KEY TO DECLINE 6- IN BILLIONS ASIA A person's national identity can be linked to not only the state or nation they belong to, but to a symbol which represents and embodies the nation's people, values, goals, or history. The national animal or plant is a symbol of this identity, selected for holding cultural, historical, economic, and/or religious significance. However, many of the planet's national animal symbols are under threat of extinction primarily due to exploitation by humans, habitat loss and human-wildlife conflict. The highest number of national symbols being LEGEND 50% Asia threatened occur within Africa and Asia, 5– two continents experiencing the Vulnerable 32 Threatened* greatest current and future - rates of human 4 - population growth. - Endangered 23 Africa 35.4%- ESTIMATES 3- of all national animal species AFRICA Critically - Endangered 12 threatened* 2- 61% SYMBOLS PER REGION Threatened* 1- Europe South America There are 189 IUCN listed National Extinct 2 Extinct Symbols among the 127 countries assessed. Many countries, such as Cambodia, Namibia, Poland, and the United Kingdom, have multiple symbols. Least Concern 104 Australia North America Near Threatened 16 1950 2000 2050 2100 CENTRAL AMERICA & CARIBBEAN 31 AUSTRALIA & OCEANIA 10 NORTH AMERICA 5 SYMBOLS SOUTH AMERICA 18 EUROPE 37 MIDDLE EAST 12 AFRICA 42 ASIA 34 Includes Bermuda, Canada, and the United States Includes Central, East, South and Southeast Asia NOT PROTECTED 4 13 25 34 11 38 25 EXPERIENCING TYPES OF ANIMALS PRIMARY THREATS NATIONAL PROTECTION SYMBOLS IN DECLINE POPULATION DECLINES Less than a fifth of all symbols Threatened national symbols differed significantly by animal type, with the highest being mammals. These include highly charismatic megafauna such as the big cats and elephants. Exploitation is the largest threat to national animal symbols, followed by habitat loss and human-wildlife conflict, with exploitation and human conflict (overlap between resources, habitats, and nutritional needs of society and wild populations) are almost equal. have some form of national The data shows that the proverbial "wheels" linking humanity and nature in its purest form (i.e. national symbols) are "falling off," evidenced by more than protective status within their associated nation. Threatened Symbols 45% 66% Reptiles 6% Amphibians 3% Human- Other 12% Not Protected 84% of all national symbolic species are in population decline* a third of ll the modern world's most Wildlife celebrated animals now threatened conflict with extinction, and almost three quarters of all threatened symbols show population declines. 20% Non- Threatened Symbols Mammals Exploitation Protected Increasing 22 34% 66% 38% 16% *Percentages rounded; Excludes extinct species, species not evaluated and insufficient data not counted Habitat Birds Loss IUCN=International Union for Conservation of Nature 25% 30%- SOURCE: N. Hammerschlag & A.J. Gallagher. Extinction Risk and Conservation of the Earth's National Animal Symbols. BioScience (2017) Not Threatened Threatened 35.4% Stable 33% OEThreatened Threatened Not Decreasing reatened Threatened GRAPHIC BY HIRAM HENRIQUEZ

Extinction Risk and Conservation Status of Earth's National Animal Sybmols

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Flagship species are commonly used as conservation tools, but to be effective, local public support is critical. A country’s national animal symbol is often selected for holding cultural and histori...

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Hiram Henriquez

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Animals
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