Wildlife And Eco

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Extinction alert for 800 species

By Richard Black
Environment Correspondent, BBC News website

Researchers have compiled a global map of sites where animals and plants face imminent extinction.

The list, drawn up by a coalition of conservation groups, covers almost 800 species which they say will disappear soon unless urgent measures are taken.

Most of the 800 are now found only in one location, mainly in the tropics.

Writing in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the researchers say protecting some of these sites would cost under $1,000 per year.

"This is a whole suite of species threatened with extinction," said Stuart Butchart, global species programme co-ordinator with BirdLife International, one of the groups behind the report.

If we don't protect them, these are guaranteed extinctions
Stuart Butchart
"Most of them are living on single sites and are therefore highly vulnerable to human impacts," he told the BBC News website.

"Safeguarding this suite of sites is not the only thing we need to do; but if we don't protect them, these are guaranteed extinctions."

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