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One in 4 Mammals Threatened With Extinction, Group Finds
Written by Daniel   
Tuesday, 07 October 2008 12:33

BARCELONA, Spain — An “extinction crisis” is under way, with one in four mammals in danger of disappearing because of habitat loss, hunting and climate change, a leading global conservation body warned Monday. 

“Within our lifetime, hundreds of species could be lost as a result of our own actions,” said Julia Marton-Lefèvre, the director general of the International Union for Conservation of Nature, or I.U.C.N., a network of campaign groups, governments, scientists and other experts.

Among 188 mammals in the group’s highest threat category — critically endangered — was the Iberian lynx, which has an estimated population of 84 adults and has continued to decline as its primary prey, the European rabbit, has fallen victim to disease and overhunting.

The report, presented at the World Conservation Congress in Barcelona, formed part of a Red List of Threatened Species issued annually by the group.

The fishing cat, found in Southeast Asia, was moved to the second most threatened category, endangered, from vulnerable, because of habitat loss in wetlands. The Caspian seal, also now endangered, has declined in population by 90 percent over the past 100 years because of unsustainable hunting and degradation of its habitats.  [The New York Times...]    [Comments...]

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