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SHOCK AT DECLINE IN SPECIES.

Byline: By MIKE SWAIN, Science Editor

ALMOST a third of the world's wildlife has been lost in the last 35 years, a report has revealed.

Numbers of species on land, in the oceans and in rivers and lakes fell by 27 per cent between 1970 and 2005.

Land animal numbers have fallen by 25 per cent, marine species such as swordfish and hammerhead sharks by 28 per cent and freshwater by 29 per cent according to the Living Planet Index - produced by the WWF, the London Zoological Society and the Global Footprint Network.

Report author Jonathan Loh said the fall was "completely unprecedented" in human history, adding: "You would would have to go back to the extinction of the dinosaurs to see a decline as rapid as this." The main threats are pollution, habitat destruction, over-exploitation, invasive species and climate change.

Colin Butfield, Head of Campaigns at WWF-UK, said: "Biodiversity underpins the health of the planet so it is alarming that despite increased awareness we continue to see a downtrend."

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Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:May 17, 2008
Words:175
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