Table Mountain frog under threat

Cape Town – The Table Mountain ghost frog is one of four South African species are on the list of 100 most endangered species in the world, it was reported on Friday.

The Cape Times reported that the Table Mountain ghost frog, the geometric tortoise, the estuarine pipefish and the wild yam were likely to become extinct because they provided no obvious benefit to humans.

Table Mountain was the only place in the world where ghost frogs occurred. Only 200 wild yam were left in Mpumalanga.

The findings formed part of a list released by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature and the ZSL London Zoo, at the World Conservation Congress in South Korea.

The list was reportedly compiled by more than 8 000 scientists who gathered for the first time to identify the most threatened animals, plants and fungi.

In a report issued at the Rio+20 world summit in June, the IUCN said that out of 63 837 species it had assessed, 19 817 run the risk of extinction.

At threat are 41% of amphibian species, 33% of reef-building corals, 25% of mammals, 20% of plants and 13% of birds, the update of the prestigious “Red List” said.

Many are essential for humans, providing food and work and a gene pool for better crops and new medicines, it said.

Experts say that only a fraction of Earth’s millions of species, many of them microscopic, has been formally identified.

SAPA

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