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Lahore

May 20, 2017

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Call to save endangered species

Call to save endangered species

LAHORE

WWF-Pakistan celebrated Endangered Species Day with a call to intensively manage protected areas for these species to thrive within their natural habitats. 

A press release issued here Friday said this year the organisation conservation milestones include the birth of two chicks of the endangered oriental white-backed vultures and the positive results coming out from the recently concluded Indus River dolphin survey. While these efforts bode well to save these species from extinction the organisation still believes that a lot is yet to be achieved. 

It added that living in a time when the impact of human activity is contributing to, if not causing, climate change, species around the world are in peril. Under the current trajectory, the future of many living organisms in the Anthropocene (current geological age) is uncertain; in fact several indicators give cause for alarm.

WWF International’s Living Planet Report 2016, which measures biodiversity abundance levels based on 14,152 monitored populations of 3,706 vertebrate species, showed a persistent downward trend. On average, the population of the species monitored showed a decline by 58 percent between 1970 and 2012.

Monitored species are increasingly affected by pressure from unsustainable agriculture, fisheries, mining and other human activities that contribute to habitat loss and degradation, over-exploitation, climate change and pollution. In a business-as-usual situation, this downward trend in species populations continues.

United Nations targets that aim to halt the loss of biodiversity are designed to be achieved by 2020; but by then species populations may have declined on average by 67 percent over the last half century.

Press release said that WWF-Pakistan Director General Hammad Naqi Khan, in his message for the day, called for the all-out effort—what he termed a last-ditch effort— to not only save all endangered species but also conserve their habitat. “The risk faced by many species in Pakistan is growing in urgency and it is about time we start valuing the importance of each species to the sustainability of local ecosystems and ultimately the global ecosystem.” He also addressed youths and encouraged them to get involved in this global effort and add renewed vigour to the cause. “Our organisation is committed to conserving endangered species, and we cannot achieve this without heightened public awareness and enthusiasm to preserve the environment that has led to the success of many of our projects,” he added. 

Pakistan is home to a number of endangered species, including the Indian Pangolin, snow leopard, the Indus River dolphin and the green turtle. The facts and figures in Pakistan tend to paint a challenging picture, yet there is still plenty of room for optimism.

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