The forests of India are home to some intriguingly-named wildlife, from the ‘Pygmy hog-sucking Louse’, the ‘Andaman White-toothed Shrew’, (not forgetting the Nicobar White-tailed Shrew), the Anamalai Flying Frog, ‘the Gooty Tarantula’ and even ‘Sushil’s Bush Frog’.
‘Critically endangered is the highest risk category assigned by the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) Red List to wild species. There are five quantitative criteria to determine whether a taxon is threatened. A taxon is critically endangered when the best availabile evidence indicates that it meets any of the following criteria:
I. Populations have declined or will decrease, by greater than 80% over the last 10 years or three generations.
II. Have a restricted geographical range.
III. Small population size of less than 250 individuals and continuing decline at 25% in 3 years or one generation.
IV. Very small or restricted population of fewer than 50 mature individuals.
V. High probability of extinction in the wild.’
The ‘Critically Endangered Animal Species of India’ were listed by the Ministry of Environment and Forests in a surprisingly jargon-free report recently. It would be wonderful if other ministries in the government made the effort to share information in this way.