Tuesday, August 22, 2006



JANE KAY, SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE - The world's birds are disappearing
in greater numbers than previously calculated, and the number of
extinctions will grow even more dramatically by the end of the century,
according to a grim study published in the journal Proceedings of the
National Academy of Sciences. The study, the most thorough analysis of
global bird species, says 12 percent of existing species -- about 1,250
-- are threatened with extinction by 2100.
Up until now, scientists had documented the extinction of about 130 bird
species since the year 1500. But the study's authors -- from Stanford
University, Duke University and the Missouri Botanical Garden in St.
Louis -- say the more accurate estimate is about 500 extinctions out of
more than 10,000 known bird species. That would be about one extinction
per year over the last 500 years. And that rate is 100 times higher than
what was considered natural before human influence, the study said.



DAVID PERLMAN, SF CHRONICLE - A strange new fungus disease that kills
frogs and toads and every other species of amphibian is spreading around
the globe and -- combined with pollution and overdevelopment -- is
driving more and more of the creatures to extinction, a coalition of the
world's top biologists warns. At least one-third of the world's known
amphibians are threatened by the combination of attacks, and up to 122
species have become extinct within the past 25 years, the international
team of specialists is reporting in today's edition of the journal
Science. "Amphibian declines and extinctions are global and rapid," 50
of the world's leading specialists on water-dwelling animals declared in
a joint report. At least 427 species are "critically endangered," they


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