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Twenty Percent of All Mammals at Risk of Extinction

August 16, 2011 Comments off

discovery

elephantElephants are among the mammals nearing extinction according to a new report.
Chris Jackson/Getty Images

At least twenty percent of all known mammals are nearing extinction, with large species at greatest risk, according to a recent assessment of the conservation status of 5,487 mammals.

Expanding agriculture and hunting are the primary extinction drivers, according to the findings, published in the latest Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B. That means humans causing the most severe mammal extinction period in history.

“The example I often tend to bring up is Tasmanian Devil, familiar to many from the Looney Tunes cartoons, because it’s an example of how a species that is common, or at least not uncommon, can suddenly, through the emergence of a novel threat, be plunged into a steep decline,” lead author Michael Hoffmann told Discovery News, explaining that a relatively Read more…