The animals in the zoo are doing well, but what about their conspecifics in the wild?
The International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) is the world's largest international organisation whose mission is, among other things, to raise people's awareness of the need to protect nature and species. One of its tools is the Red List. This list, compiled by experts, indicates the degree of endangerment of individual animal and plant species. The Red List symbol of the World Conservation Union indicates that an animal species is endangered and on the Red List. You will encounter the red and white symbol again and again during your visit to the zoo.
The Red List uses nine categories to indicate the extent to which a species is threatened and thus the probability of its extinction.
At Frankfurt Zoo you can see animals in the following four categories:
EW = Extinct in the Wild = extinct in the wild.
CR = Critically Endangered = threatened with extinction
EN = Endangered
VU = Vulnerable
The benefit of this classification is that one can not only see how threatened a species is, but also what the trend (increasing or decreasing) of the endangerment is. This information helps in the design and implementation of appropriate conservation measures.
Particularly important here is the protection of areas where endangered species live. What many people fail to realise is that only through the careful use of nature and the natural resources taken from it can the foundations of human life be secured.
The extinction of animal and plant species has serious consequences for ecosystems and thus also for humans, because we are part of these ecosystems.