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Red List Of Species Nearing Extinction Tops 12,000

IUCN Red List Of Species Nearing Extinction Tops 12,000

Gland, Switzerland -- Extinction is a real possibility for more than 12,000 animals and plants, according to the 2003 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, the world's most authoritative source of information on the conservation status of plants and animals, to be released on Tuesday 18 November by IUCN - The World Conservation Union.

With contributions from thousands of scientists around the world, the Red List, produced by IUCN's Species Survival Commission, reveals a suite of species extinctions, declines, recoveries, and rediscoveries.

>From one of the world's largest freshwater fish to the planet's oldest seed plants, and from man's closest relatives to the oceans' strongest birds, this year's Red List shows the diversity of species we are about to lose.

The embargoed 2003 IUCN Red List News Release, in English, French, and Spanish, will be sent out on Friday. Photos of threatened species will also be available upon request.

Created in 1948, IUCN - The World Conservation Union brings together 75 states, 108 government agencies, 750 plus NGOs, and some 10,000 scientists and experts from 181 countries in a unique worldwide partnership. IUCN's mission is to influence, encourage and assist societies throughout the world to conserve the integrity and diversity of nature and to ensure that any use of natural resources is equitable and ecologically sustainable.

IUCN is the world's largest environmental knowledge network and has helped over 75 countries to prepare and implement national conservation and biodiversity strategies. IUCN is a multi-cultural, multilingual organization with 1000 staff located in 62 countries. Its headquarters are in Gland, Switzerland.

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