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article imageStudy: 10 percent of world's species endangered by climate change

By Kevin Jess     Sep 30, 2009 in Environment
The world's only catalogue of known plants and animals has so far listed 1.9 million species but according to a new report almost 10 per cent of the world's animals are in danger of extinction due to climate change and other factors.
The Australian government funded study by Biological Resources, entitled Numbers of Living Species in Australia and the World has found that almost 10 per cent of the world's mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians and fish are in danger of extinction due to climate change and other pressures such as invasive species and habitat loss.
Climate change was noted as the major cause.
Biological Resources is the world's only census of animal and plant life. The new study has found that 20.8% of mammals were endangered, along with 12.2% of birds and 29.2% of amphibians.
Almost 5 percent of reptiles were considered threatened, along with 4.1 per cent of fish species and it also showed Australian species accounted for 9.1% of the world's threatened flora and fauna.
Australia's Environment Minister Peter Garrett said, "This is important work because it will help inform us in our efforts to make sure that we deal with the threats to nature, the threats to these species, threats that come from climate change, threats that come from weeds and other activities," according to a statement on the Australian government's website.
The study has listed 114,000 more species since the study was done three years ago with Australia listed as having one of the most unique and diverse collections. Around 87 percent of its mammals and 93 percent of reptiles were found nowhere else, including kangaroos and koalas.
The report estimates that there are between 5 million and 50 million species on earth so the job of cataloguing species was not even near being finished.
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