Extinction crisis looms

2009-12-22 19:39
Cape Town - With little more than a week to go before people gather to party and wish each other a happy and prosperous 2010, the future looks less than bright for many of the world's animal species and ecosystems.

"We are facing an extinction crisis," the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) warned on Tuesday.

It said targets to reduce the loss of biodiversity had fallen far short of what had been hoped for, and the effects of this could prove devastating.

"At risk of extinction worldwide are 21% of the world's mammals, one in three amphibians, one in eight birds and 27% of reef building corals," IUCN said in a statement, issued ahead of the launch of the 2010 International Year of Biodiversity on January 11.

The loss of complex natural diversity, which underpinned all life on the planet, was a serious threat to humankind, both now and in the future.

Practical action

"Biodiversity is the basis of all life on earth. We need practical action and supportive policies to conserve species, manage and restore ecosystems, including protected areas and the wider landscape, and promote the sustainable use of natural resources," it said.

Biologists have long warned an extinction crisis is looming.

In 2002, Harvard biologist Edward Wilson estimated that at the then rates of human disruption of the biosphere, one-half of all species on the planet would be extinct by the end of this century.

Other experts say the rate of biological extinction is several hundred times beyond its historical level.

They list deforestation and other habitat destruction, hunting and poaching, the introduction of non-native species, and pollution and climate change as among the major reasons for the extinction of species.

Read more on:    animals  |  environment
NEXT ON NEWS24X

linking and moving

2015-04-22 07:36

SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

Inside News24

 
/News
 

Road Accident Fund: #Takecharge to make roads safer

Hot on the heels of its Easter meet the #FutureYou campaign, the Road Accident Fund (RAF) will once again take its road safety message to the public - Sponsored.

 

Stay safe

Juvenile pillion riders? Play safe...
First-aid kit: What you need in YOUR car
Hey, lazy! Get outta the disabled bay!
Yaris: Perfect car for back-seat babes
Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

The pressure is on to perform, but you may not feel emotionally prepared. The most important thing is not to place your...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.