Some species of leeches are endangered or protected due to habitat loss, pollution, and over-collection for medical and other purposes. For example:
- Haemadipsa picta: This species of leech is listed as endangered under the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List due to habitat loss and degradation.
- Hirudo medicinalis: This species of leech is protected in some countries, including France, where it is considered a “natural heritage” species. It is also listed as vulnerable under the IUCN Red List due to over-collection for medical use and habitat loss.
- Placobdelloides jaegerskioeldi: This species of leech is listed as critically endangered under the IUCN Red List due to habitat loss and degradation caused by human activities.
It’s important to note that while leeches may not be endangered as a group, some species may be threatened or protected, and it is important to be aware of these issues when using or collecting them. It’s always best to consult with local authorities and experts before collecting or using leeches for any purpose.