An endangered species is a population of organisms which is at risk of becoming extinct because it is either few in numbers, or threatened by changing environmental or predation parameters.
The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has calculated the percentage of endangered species as 40 percent of all organisms based on the sample of species that have been evaluated through 2006.
There are laws offering protection to conservation reliant species e.g. forbidding hunting, restricting land development, creating preserves, wildfire limitations, etc. but continuous monitoring and community co-operation is required to stop certain species (both animal and plant) from becoming extinct. Only a few of the many species at risk of extinction actually make it to the lists and obtain legal protection. Many more species become extinct, or potentially will become extinct, without gaining public notice.
The preservation of our region’s fynbos ecosystem or biosphere, the Cape Floral Kingdom, is vital as flora and fauna are interrelated and the loss of one species may affect many others as well.
Land degradation, invasive species encroachment and deforestation are also linked to this phenomenon. Public awareness of these hazards is vital to assist in preservation and re-introduction ventures being undertaken by environmental organisations.
The City’s Environmental Resource Management (ERM) Service can provide further details.
By drafting your own Family Emergency Plan and identifying all your risks, including those hazards affecting your own environment, you can make a positive contribution to preparedness.