On the Brink

Highlights from the new Red List of species headed for extinction

Take a close look at the species on this page. It may be the last time you see them. Scientists have long warned that animals and plants are disappearing at an alarming rate. According to the IUCN Red List, a closely watched assessment of the health of the remaining species released by the World Conservation Union last week, the crisis may be even more acute than everybody feared. Of the 18,276 organisms investigated, 11,046--including 24% of mammals and 12% of birds--are threatened with extinction.

The Red List uses various criteria--such as population size, rate of decline and geographic distribution--to determine...

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