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The Endangered Species 2010 Series

Fungi & Bryophytes
Club Moss, Quillwort, Ferns and Red Algae
Conifers, Cycads and Monocots
Dicotyledons (Part 1 ; Part 2)
Arthropods (Part 1 ; Part 2)
Annelids, Lamprey, Cnidarians and Onychophorans
Fish (Part 1 ; Part 2)


All listed taxa

Plants and fungi

Arthropods, annelids, lamprey, cnidarians, onychophorans and molluscs
Amphibians & Reptiles


On the 22nd January, I wrote a post criticising the recently released list of ‘Most Threatened Species 2010′ by WWF Scotland, stating that while the noted species were worthy of conservation action, to call them the ‘most threatened species’ was disingenuous and misleading. I followed that up on the 14th April with an entry which talked about an essay in the World Conservation Society (WCS)‘s book ‘State of the Wild 2010-2011′ entitled ‘Rarest of the Rare’. Though the WCS list followed the public-friendly path of using predominantly appealing or charismatic species, it differed from the WWF list in that all the species were classified as ‘critically endangered’ by the IUCN (click here for details on IUCN categories and criteria).

In that second post, I stated that “I’d still like to see plants, molluscs, insects, etc. appear on these lists…I should spent[sic] some time researching and try to come up with an alternative top 10 (or, knowing me, top 50)”. To circumvent my proclivity for making endlessly evolving lists (try asking me about my favourite film, for example), I decided to break the lists down into taxonomic groups and then to choose up to a dozen species from each taxon which are critically endangered according to the IUCN Red List 2010. It remains to be seem whether I am able to stick to a dozen species or not; 20 is a more realistic maximum.

There are to be 5 plant lists and 10 describing animal taxa; fungi, while neither plant nore animal, only have two representatives on the Red List and so inhabit the first list alongside the bryophytes (similarly the mixed animal list comprising annelids, lamprey, cnidarians and onychophorans is entirely due to the relatively small number of representative species from each taxon on the Red List). This is still pretty inadequate of course as most of these groups will inevitably encompass, and the relevant lists omit, a great number and variety of critically endangered species. Nevertheless, I’ll try to make each list acceptably representative of the taxon as a whole.

If you have suggestions of species which should be included in as-yet unpublished lists, think that other species or details should be added to any list or you have feedback of any kind, comments are always appreciated.

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