En­dan­gered wildlife list swells in 2015

Lesotho Times - - Africa -

“They also bring ves­sels filled with petrol, get the pa­pers and then go to neigh­bour­ing coun­tries to sell it there, so they have the dou­ble ben­e­fit of sub­si­dies and sales,” says Debo Adeni­ran, head of the Coali­tion Against Cor­rupt Lead­ers lobby group.

Saraki said that by the end of Au­gust 2011, the hun­dreds of bil­lions of naira spent on fuel sub­si­dies was al­ready 300 per­cent above what had ini­tially been bud­geted for the en­tire year.

Buhari be­lieves graft has made Nige­ria a global laugh­ing stock but even he has ad­mit­ted the scale of the prob­lem is un­known in a coun­try that last year ranked 136th out of 175 in Trans­parency In­ter­na­tional’s Cor­rup­tion Per­cep­tions In­dex.

“In Nige­ria now the (state-run) NNPC (Nige­rian Na­tional Petroleum Cor­po­ra­tion), Min­istry of Fi­nance, FIRS (Fed­eral In­land

OSLO — The num­ber of an­i­mals and plants at risk of ex­tinc­tion rose in 2015 de­spite gov­ern­ment pledges to im­prove pro­tec­tion, with species un­der threat rang­ing from lions in West Africa to or­chids in Asia, a study showed on Tues­day.

The Red List of En­dan­gered Species, backed by gov­ern­ments, sci­en­tists and con­ser­va­tion­ists, grew to 22 784 species in 2015, al­most a third of all an­i­mals and plants sam­pled, from 22,413 a year ago, it said.

Loss of habi­tats, such as clear­ance of forests for farm­land, cities or roads, was the main cause of the rise, ac­cord­ing to the list com­piled by the In­ter­na­tional Union for Con­ser­va­tion of Na­ture (IUCN).

Lions in Africa re­tained an over­all list­ing as “vul­ner­a­ble”, one of the least en­dan­gered cat­e­gories, thanks to con­ser­va­tion in south­ern Africa.

But lions in West Africa were listed in a more se­vere cat­e­gory as “crit­i­cally en­dan­gered” due to losses of habi­tat and a de­cline in prey caused by hu­man hunt­ing, it said.

And it said there were also “rapid declines in East Africa, his­tor­i­cally a strong­hold for lions — mainly due to hu­man-lion con­flict and prey de­cline.”

Trade in bones and other body

Who will get the sought-af­ter petroleum port­fo­lio is a source of con­stant, ea­ger spec­u­la­tion, with claims Buhari him­self may even parts for tra­di­tional medicines were an emerg­ing threat.

In 2011, al­most 200 gov­ern- take charge of the sec­tor to root out cor­rupt prac­tices.

The NNPC was at the cen­tre of a row with the Cen­tral Bank of Nige­ria last year when Gover­nor Lamido Sanusi said $20bn in oil rev­enue it was owed had gone miss­ing.

Pres­i­dent Good­luck Jonathan, who dis­puted the amount, then sacked Sanusi.

With Buhari — a for­mer mil­i­tary ruler known for his no-non­sense ap­proach to cor­rup­tion and “in­dis­ci­pline” - aware­ness of the need to tackle graft is ar­guably at an all-time high.

The CDD has even set up a web­site - the “Buharime­ter” - to mon­i­tor whether he ful­fils his elec­tion prom­ises.

So far, Buhari has only started to ad­dress one of them — to pub­licly de­clare his as­sets. But they have yet to be made public, even though he has sub­mit­ted them to the Code of Con­duct Bureau.

For Maja-pearce, hope rests in Nige­ria’s In­ter­net-savvy youth.

“They know what’s hap­pen­ing and how much their coun­try is fail­ing,” he said.

“If the coun­try doesn’t make space for their tal­ents by pro­vid­ing the nec­es­saries then they will bring the house down.” — AFP ments set a goal of pre­vent­ing by 2020 the ex­tinc­tion of known species and re­duc­ing threats to those most in de­cline. No known species went ex­tinct in 2015 but many came closer to the brink.

“We are not on track,” said Craig Hil­ton-tay­lor, head of the IUCN Red List Unit, told Reuters of the 2020 goals.

Still there were some con­ser­va­tion suc­cesses, such as the Ibe­rian lynx, whose num­ber rose to 156 adults in 2012 from 52 a decade ear­lier.

Hil­ton-tay­lor said some eco­nom­i­cally valu­able species were added as en­dan­gered.

The list said that prac­ti­cally all of the 84 species of trop­i­cal Asian slip­per orchid, which are prized or­na­men­tal flow­ers, were threat­ened, mainly be­cause of over-col­lec­tion and habi­tat loss.

Nine of 17 species from the tea plant fam­ily as­sessed were also en­dan­gered be­cause they are used for mak­ing tea and medicines or as or­na­men­tal plants and fire­wood.

“Los­ing these plants would re­duce the ge­netic di­ver­sity of tea,” Hil­ton-tay­lor said.

The plants might be valu­able re­place­ments for cur­rent species of drink­ing tea if en­vi­ron­men­tal con­di­tions were to change in fu­ture.

— Reuters

Western African lions are listed as ‘crit­i­cally en­dan­gered’.

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