Tuesday, January 5, 2010

2010 Year of Biodiversity

Due to human activities, the world's animal and plant species are disappearing at a rate some experts put at 1,000 times the natural progression marking 2010 as the International Year of Biodiversity - the variety of life on Earth. 

Leatherback sea turtle (Photo © Brian J. Hutchinson)

A new research report from the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has outlined ten species likely to be hardest hit by climate change. The leatherback sea turtle and koala are among these most vulnerable species.

Sea turtles are being affected by rising sea levels and increased storm activity due to climate change which destroys its nesting habitats. Temperature increases may lead to a reduction in the proportion of males relative to females.
"Sea turtles are truly resilient creatures that have survived millions of years of global change, yet today they are in decline pan-globally due to the unprecedented pace of climate change and other human-generated impacts," said Dr. Roderic Mast, co-chair of the IUCN SSC Marine Turtle Specialist Group and vice president of the nonprofit Conservation International. "Sea turtles are bellwethers, whose message to man is that slowing and reversing climate change is urgent."

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