One in four of the world’s mammals is threatened with extinction and half are in decline, the most comprehensive assessment so far has found.
Scientists who carried out the five-year survey of the 5,487 known mammal species described their findings that 1,139 face dying out as “bleak and depressing” and said that it was likely to get worse.
Marine mammals were the worst affected, with more than one in three at risk of annihilation. For the Yangtse river dolphin, it may be too late. It is one of 29 species already declared “probably extinct”.
The survey by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) is the first for 12 years and its findings were announced yesterday at a conference in Barcelona.
Researchers were so concerned about the survival chances of 188 species of mammals that they were described as critically endangered, the highest rankin
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