'Fabulous' marine species are on the brink of extinction

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Conservationists warn that the 'sea cow' that inspired mermaid tales is critically endangered.

According to the updated official endangered species list , in some parts of the world dugongs are almost completely destroyed.

Scientists are also sounding the alarm about the death of other marine creatures, including exotic corals and molluscs.

According to scientists, people have created a “perfect storm” that threatens marine life on the entire planet.

The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), which compiles the official Red List of Endangered Species, released the latest findings at the UN Biodiversity Conference, COP 15 .

Dr. Bruno Oberle, head of the IUCN, warned of the urgent need to address the associated crises of climate change and biodiversity, or humanity “risks losing the critical benefits that the ocean provides us.”

In the latest update of the endangered list There are more than 150,000 species.

The list highlights the danger to column coral, which forms finger-like structures found throughout the Caribbean Sea. It is now classified as critically endangered. The coral is dying due to disease, climate change and pollution.

Meanwhile , many species of abalone, the most expensive seafood in the world, are threatened with extinction due to poaching and unsustainable fishing, exacerbated by disease, pollution and climate change.

Dugongs belong to the sirens, an order of aquatic mammals that sometimes referred to as “sea cows”. The Sirenia family also includes manatees.

In 2015, the IUCN classified dugongs as vulnerable to global extinction due to a variety of threats, including getting caught in fishing gear or ship propellers, ocean pollution, and the loss of the sea grasses on which they graze.

Now they are especially concerned about two population groups. One, living in the waters off Mozambique, has only 250 individuals. The other lives in New Caledonia, east of Australia. Both groups are endangered.

Dugongs still inhabit the waters of about 40 countries. Today, Australia is home to the world's largest population of dugongs, thanks in large part to a sparsely populated coastline rich in seagrass.

Earlier this year, dugongs were declared functionally extinct in China. means that even if some dugongs are still alive off the coast of China, their numbers are too small to support a viable population.

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