COP15: These 6 endangered species are on the verge of extinction
A key UN summit tasked with protecting biodiversity officially opened in China on Monday, as countries meet to tackle pollution and prevent mass extinction weeks before the COP26 climate conference.
This year's COP15 gathering, hosted in the southwest city of Kunming, was originally set for 2020 and postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Around one million animal and plant species are threatened with extinction amid human encroachment on habitats, over-exploitation, pollution, the spread of invasive species, and climate change.
Of them, some are critically endangered. They face various threats, from hunting to climate change. Here is a list of some of these lesser-known species:
Large-antlered Muntjac: It is badly threated from very high hunting pressures. It is found in Annamite mountain range, in Laos, Vietnam and extending upto Cambodia.
Cuban Crocodile: This medium-sized crocodile that lurks in inundated shrublands to prey on native rodents and turtles, is itself threatened by hunting. It is found infreshwater wetlands in Cuba.
Pygmy Hog: This is the smallest of the wild suid group of species, which also include wild board and warthogs. It is down to a population of 100-250. The Pygmy Hog is found in India, possibly in Bhutan too.
Egyptian Vulture: This species in an adaptable forager and also scavenges at human settlements. Yet, its population continues to decline. This vulture is found in Central and North Africa, the Middle East, India and the Mediterranean region.
Iberian Lynx: This critically endangered species breeds only in the Mediterranean shrublands and relies on the endangered European Rabbit for 80-90% diet. The Iberian Lynx is found in Spain.
Mountain Gazelle: It is a specialist of mountains, steep terrains and arid plains. Mountain Gazelle is known for its ability to withstand severed climatic conditions. It is found in Israel, West Bank.