DATE: July 18, 2019
SNIP: Overfishing, hunting and land development have pushed more species closer to extinction, according to a new report.
The Red List report by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) found that 27% of the more than 105,000 species the organization has analyzed are at risk of extinction, a total of 28,338 different species.
IUCN also found that no species on its list have shown any sign of improvement since it was last updated in December 2018.
“Things are not getting better, they are getting worse,” Craig Hilton-Taylor, head of the IUCN Red List unit, tells TIME.
The endangerment of species is not only a critical issue for animal and plant life but can also have a detrimental impact for humans. “The future of humanity — food, fresh water, drinking water, clean air — is all dependent on maintaining the biodiversity around us,” Hilton-Taylor says. “We can’t afford to lose any of these species.”
“The numbers are just horrendous, that’s totally frightening,” Lee Hannah, a climate change biologist at Conservation International, tells TIME. “We’ve had a lot of great progress, we’ve got national parks, community conservancies, a lot of great conservation going on around the world, and these numbers tell us that it’s just not enough.”