Members of Carnivora have been feared, persecuted, and exploited by humans for centuries. There are currently 122 species on the IUCN's Red List of Threatened Species. Of these, 11 are near threatened, 9 are lower risk, 39 are vulnerable, 33 are endangered, 6 are critically endangered, 5 have recently gone extinct, and one, black-footed ferrets (Mustela nigripes), is extinct in the wild, although reintroduction efforts show promise. Another 18 are listed as data deficient. Major threats to carnivorans include habitat loss and degradation and hunting for sport and profit. Rare species often fetch top dollar on the black market, even though trade in these species is strictly regulated by CITES and by national laws. Captive breeding programs may be the last chance for the survival of some species, such as giant pandas (Ailuropoda melanoleuca). In some cases, reintroduction of species into areas where they were previously extirpated has been successful, as with the wolves of Yellowstone. In order to save carnivorans from extinction in the long term, large swaths of habitat and healthy populations of prey species must be preserved in all parts of the world, and humans must learn to coexist peacefully with these animals.
- IUCN, 2004. "2004 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species" (On-line). Accessed December 06, 2005 at www.redlist.org.
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