Page last updated at 11:44 GMT, Tuesday, 29 September 2009 12:44 UK

Census reveals extinction threat

Tasmanian devil
The study is part of a major effort to document animal and plant life

Almost 10% of the World's mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians and fish are at risk of extinction, says an Australian report.

The animals face threats including habitat loss and climate change.

The report comes from Australia's Biological Resources Study, a project aiming to document all of the planet's known animal and plant species.

The study found that almost 1% of the World's 1.9 million classified species were threatened.

This included 9.2% of major vertebrate species.

The publication, Numbers of Living Species in Australia and the World, is part of a major effort to document the entire planet's animal and plant life.

Koala bear
The study underlines the unique biodiversity in Australia

It said that 20% of mammals were endangered, as were 12% percent of birds and 29% of amphibians.

Almost 5% of reptiles were considered threatened, along with 4% of fish species.

Peter Garrett, Australian Minister for the Environment, Heritage and the Arts, said: "We need this essential information to do a better job of managing our biodiversity against the threats of invasive species, habitat loss and climate change."

Mr Garrett also announced a partnership between the the Australian Biological Resources Study, and the mining company BHP Billiton to name and describe 500 reef species over the next three years.



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