Biology - experts sound alarm over imperilled species
Study of 291 animals and plants representative of national biodiversity found a third to be endangered.
PARIS, March 4, 2008 (AFP) - French experts on Monday voiced concern after
a study of 291 animals and plants representative of national biodiversity
found a third to be endangered.
Threatened species include the great hamster of Alsace, the European mink
and wetland butterflies whose future has been darkened by habitat loss.
The results "are universally bad," said Jacques Trouvilliez of the Museum
of Natural History, which carried out the survey as part of an EU-wide study
into species loss.
Water-loving species are most at threat, a finding that chimes with
warnings by the World Conservation Union (IUCN) which says that wetland
habitats are shrinking fast as a result of pollution and water extraction.
The study is considered to be only a rough guide to biodiversity. It does
not include birds, and available data on many species, especially marine
mammals, is sketchy or unsound, said Trouvilliez.