Action needed against species extinction

The latest update of the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species™ showed that 21 percent of all known mammals, 30 percent of all known amphibians, 12 percent of all known birds, and 28 percent of reptiles, 37 percent of freshwater fishes, 70 percent of plants, 35 percent of invertebrates assessed so far are under threat.

Ethiopian Wolf (Canis simensis) 2008 IUCN Red List Status: Endangered Photo: Nick Jacobsen

Based on this analysis, targets to reduce the loss of biodiversity by 2010 look set to have fallen far short of what had been hoped for - the effects on the natural world and the most vulnerable communities could be devastating. Craig Hilton-Taylor, manager of the IUCN Red List Unit in Cambridge, England, says he hopes the International Year of Biodiversity will turn this situation around.

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