07 Sep 2012:
Key Asian Species Need
Urgent Recovery Plans, Group Says
The New York-based Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) has called on Asian nations to work together to save a handful of critically endangered species
, including tigers, Asian rhinos, orangutans, Asian
vultures, Batagur turtles, and the Mekong giant catfish. Speaking at the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s World Conservation Congress in South Korea, WCS President Christian Samper called on delegates to intensify recovery plans or face the possible extinction of some of these iconic species. The WCS painted a stark portrait of the situation: Only 3,200 Asian tigers remain in the wild, Sumatran and Bornean orangutans are experiencing steep declines, only about 40 Javan rhinos survive, Asian vultures have declined by more than 90 percent across the Indian subcontinent, populations of Mekong giant catfish have declined by more than 80 percent since 1990, and numerous species of Bagatur turtles across Asia are on the brink of extinction because of hunting and harvesting of eggs.