12 percent — 1 in 10 — of marine species in the tropical eastern Pacific face extinction according to a recent report by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). Some 1,600 species in such regions as the Gulf of California, the coasts of Panama and Costa Rica as well as several offshore oceanic islands and archipelagos in the tropical eastern Pacific were surveyed and 197 species found to be “critically endangered”, “endangered” or “vulnerable.” Among those species threatened are marine shore-fish, marine mammals, sea turtles, sea birds, corals, mangroves and seagrasses; overfishing, pollution, habitat destruction and impacts from El Niño have all played a part in endangering their survival.
The study by Beth Polidoro, a research associate at the IUCN marine biodiversity unit, is the “first IUCN Red List of Threatened Species for all known species… in a major marine biogeographic region.”
In just the past few decades, more than 20 marine species have become extinct around the world; some 133 local populations have suffered the same fate. The Galapagos Damselfish (Azurina eupalama) disappeared during the events of El Niño from 1982-1983.
Image of Galapagos Damselfish from Wikipedia
Read more: biodiversity, coral reef, costa rica, endangered species, fish, gulf of california, man grove, marine mammals, ocean, ocean life, overfishing, pacific ocean, sea bass, sea grass, tortoise, turtle
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