Tuesday, September 15, 2009

One in six Mediterranean mammals face extinction

Asia One via Agence France-Presse: One in six Mediterranean mammals is threatened with extinction at the regional level, mainly due to the destruction of their habitat from urbanization, agriculture and climate change, nature body IUCN said Tuesday in a new study. Of the 320 mammal species assessed by the Geneva-based International Union for the Conservation of Nature, 49 were threatened, including 20 that can be found nowhere else in the world, it said in a statement.

Three percent are "critically endangered", including the Mediterranean monk seal and the Iberian lynx, another five percent are "endangered" and eight percent are "vulnerable". "The number one threat is habitat destruction, which affects 90 percent of the threatened species," said IUCN expert Annabelle Cuttelod, co-author of the report, in a statement released in Spain.

"We need international action to protect key areas and preserve natural habitats to ensure we don't lose the rich biodiversity in this area," she added. High concentrations of threatened species are found in the mountains of Turkey, northwestern Africa and the Levant, the ancient land now comprising Syria, Jordan, Israel, Lebanon and the Palestinian territories….

The Iberian lynx, (c) Programa de Conservación Ex-situ del Lince Ibérico www.lynxexsitu.es, Wikimedia Commons, under Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 License

1 comment:

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