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IUCN’s latest update

The November 2011 report from the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species shows that 61,914 species have now been assessed, providing a better insight than ever before into the state of the world’s biodiversity. The IUCN Red List now not only contains a higher number of species, but also a great diversity, moving it a step closer to becoming a true ‘Barometer of Life’.

In recent years, the conservation status of many of the world’s reptiles has been assessed, including a major project examining the reptiles of Madagascar. A troubling 40% of the country’s reptiles are threatened with extinction, with 22 species being assessed as Critically Endangered.

Ranitomeya benedicta, one of the first specimens ever photographed. (2006) Wouter Olthof (c)

Amphibians are currently one of the most threatened groups of animals and are closely monitored by the IUCN. This latest update sees 26 fairly recently discovered species added to the IUCN Red List, including the Vulnerable blessed poison frog, Ranitomeya benedicta (pictured) and the Endangered Summers’ poison frog Ranitomeya summersi.

Much of these species’ habitat is uninhabited and therefore deforestation is not a major threat. However, certain areas, particularly near the type localities, have been badly deforested since their initial discovery.  Fairly recently, many R. benedicta were smuggled illegally to Germany, although legal frogs  have become available in the US pet trade, and now captive-bred stock is also available from a reputable supplier in Europe.

Explore more threatened species on ARKive, supporting conservation through imagery.

Find out more about the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species and this year’s update.

Join the discussion and add your input to the amphibian status assessments online.

Learn more about Dendrobatid frogs and the new taxonomic changes with Ranitomeya.

Read about committed poison dart-frog researchers and their successes in the field.

Find ethical frog suppliers such as Understory Enterprises & Peruvian Frog Imports.

Retrieve latest up-to-date information relating to amphibian biology and conservation.

Browse and explore amphibian Ex-situ conservation programmes by genus or country.

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