The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has added the "suppon" softshell turtle to its red list of endangered species as the animal's numbers have apparently dwindled due to capture by humans and cross-breeding with other species.
While the turtle is raised in large numbers as a luxury food, in the wild its habitats in rivers and ponds in countries like Japan, China and Vietnam have declined, and its numbers have fallen.
The IUCN is composed of government groups and researchers, and it revises the red list about twice a year. It has classified the suppon turtle as "vulnerable," the third highest level of danger for extinction in the wild. According to the Nature Conservation Society of Japan, which is a member of the IUCN, the turtle's numbers have fallen due to the shores of the rivers and ponds where it lives being overtaken by concrete and other artificial structures, the capturing of the species for raising as food, and cross-breeding with foreign turtle species.
Additionally, the Japanese weasel had its red list classification moved from "least concern" to "near threatened" on the grounds that its numbers may have dropped by around 25 percent over the course of three generations, or less than 10 years. The viola amamiana flower of the Ryukyu Islands was classified at the highest danger rating, "critically endangered."