A deck like this would not be complete without drawing attention to the species that are marked as vulnerable or endangered. The conservation status of any given species indicates the likelihood that it will become extinct. Many statistics are used to determine this including the number of remaining animals, the increases and decreases in their population over time, breeding success and known threats.
A species is considered endangered when it is likely to become extinct in the near future. They can be at risk for various reasons including habitat loss, poaching and invasive species. Some areas have laws to protect conservation-reliant species through controlled hunting, restricted land development and the creation of protected areas. More extreme cases are the subjects of captive breeding and habitat restoration.
While there are many organizations dedicated to this cause, I have focused on two lists that are well known and work on a worldwide level. Keep in mind that the conservation statuses indicated throughout this deck are reflective of the date it was created. For the most up-to-date information, consult the websites of the following organizations.
International Union of Conservation of Nature’s (IUCN) Red List
This list of threatened species has become the world’s most comprehensive information source on the global extinction risk status of animal, fungus and plant species.
This list is used by government agencies, wildlife departments, conservation-related organizations, natural resource planners, educational organizations, students and the business community. As of the date that this deck goes to print for the first time, there are more that 134,400 species on the IUCN Red List. More than 37,400 of these species are threatened with extinction.
For the purposes of this oracle deck, I have indicated the species listed as vulnerable, endangered and critically endangered. The IUCN offers other categories including near threatened, least concern and data deficient. Please check out their website for more information at www.iucnredlist.org.
World Wildlife Foundation
The WWF is the world’s leading conservation organization, collaborating with people around the world to come up with solutions to protect communities, wildlife and the habitats in which they live. As humans, we put a lot of pressure on nature. The WWF focuses their energy on addressing the greatest threats to life on this planet and works to protect the natural resources that sustain us all. Animals in this oracle deck that are on their WWF endangered list are indicated in this guidebook. For further information visit www.worldwildlife.org.