World ‘still losing biodiversity’

An unacceptable number of species are still being lost forever despite world leaders pledging action to reverse the trend, a report has warned.

The International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) says the commitment to reduce biodiversity loss by 2010 will not be met.

It warns that a third of amphibians, a quarter of mammals and one-in-eight birds are threatened with extinction.

The analysis is based on the 44,838 species on the IUCN Red List.

“The report makes for depressing reading,” said co-editor Craig Hilton Taylor, manager of the IUCN’s Red List Unit.

“It tells us that the extinction crisis is as bad, or even worse than we believed.

“But it also shows the trends these species are following and is therefore an essential part of decision-making processes.”

The main policy mechanism to tackle the loss is the Convention for Biological Diversity (CBD), which came into force in 1993 with three main aims: