The world is facing an enormous biodiversity crisis with extinction rates up to a thousand times faster than the historical average.
It’s the focus of a two-week UN meeting in Japan where more than 190 delegates are working towards forming new targets to help manage and restore forests, waterways and animal habitats.
According to the International Union for the Conservation of Nature, 70 per cent of the earth’s coral reefs are endangered or are already destroyed.
The reefs provide food, jobs and income sources for more than 500 million people worldwide, not to mention, a crucial habitat for sea life.
It also reports that a massive 22 per cent, nearly a quarter of the world’s mammals, have already been wiped off the planet, or are currently under threat.
But the most at-risk set of species is amphibians. Nearly a third of the world’s different frogs and toads are at risk. Introduced species are one of the many threats to biodiversity.
They often kill off native flora and fauna. But one Japanese river has an especially unwelcome visitor. Piranhas are flourishing in the Tama river, which has now been dubbed the “Tamazon”.
Al Jazeera’s Steve Chao reports.