One-fifth of all vertebrates face extinction
One species is added to the endangered list every week as the risk of extinction spreads to almost one-fifth of the world’s vertebrates, according to a landmark study released today.
The Evolution Lost report, published in the journal Science by more than 100 of the world’s leading zoologists and botanists, found that populations of mammal, bird, reptile, amphibian and fish species had declined by an average of 30% in the past 40 years.
Multiple factors have contributed to the demise, including logging, agricultural land conversion, over-exploitation, population growth, pollution and the impact of invasive alien species.
The worst die-off has occurred in south-east Asia, where hunting, dam building and the conversion of forest to palm oil plantations and paddy fields has been most dramatic. But Australia and the Andes have also suffered significant losses.
Full article: http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2010/oct/26/iucn-vertebrates-extinction-nagoya