• Changing air and water quality 'threatening species worldwide'

Environmental Laboratory

Changing air and water quality 'threatening species worldwide'

Nov 03 2009

A total of 17,291 plant and animal species worldwide are under threat this year due to changes in their environments, such as air and water quality alterations brought about deforestation and aggressive industrial operations.

This is according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), an organisation that compiles an annual list of life forms that are in danger of becoming extinct.

Of those on the threatened list, 3,325 are categorised as critically endangered, 4,891 are endangered and the remaining 9,075 are considered to be vulnerable.

According to Craig Hilton-Taylor, manager of the IUCN Red List Unit, habitat loss is primarily responsible for the status of these creatures and plants.

"We have only managed to assess 47,663 species so far - there are many more millions out there which could be under serious threat," he explained.

The IUCN is the world's oldest and largest global environmental network, with over 1,000 government and non-governmental members and around 11,000 volunteer scientists across more than 160 countries working for it.

Posted by Joseph Hutton

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