IUCN's red list

Published: Tuesday 31 October 2000

there has been a extensive decline in the population of many animal and bird species, including reptiles and primates, according to the 2000 World Conservation Union's (iucn) red list of threatened species, which is the most authoritative and comprehensive assessment of global biodiversity.

A total of 11,046 species of plants and animals are facing a high risk of extinction in the near future due to human activities, the report states. This includes 24 per cent of mammal species and 12 per cent of bird species. The total number of threatened animal species has increased from 5,205 to 5,435. Indonesia, India, Brazil and China are among the countries with the most threatened mammals and birds, while plant species are declining rapidly in South and Central America, Central and West Africa, and Southeast Asia. Habitat loss and degradation had affected 89 per cent of all threatened birds, 83 per cent of mammals, and 91 per cent of threatened plants, which were assessed. "The list reveals just the tip of the iceberg," says Russell A Mittermeier, president of the Conservation International and chairperson of iucn 's primate specialist group.

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