One in four mammals facing extinction

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One in four mammal species are at risk of extinction, according to a new study by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). The assessment was done by more than 1,700 experts from 130 countries over the last five years. Who's to blame? Humans, of course. The IUCN also updated its Red List of Threatened Species that now includes Tasmanian devils (above), parachute spiders, fishing cars, and a host of other beautiful beasties. From National Geographic:

"Our results paint a bleak picture of the global status of mammals worldwide," the study authors wrote…

Humans are mostly to blame, as habitat loss, pollution, and hunting continue to squeeze at-risk species.< "Perversely, the species that humans show greatest affinity toward–the largest mammals such as primates, big cats, and whales–are significantly more likely to be threatened with extinction," Barney Long, a biologist at the World Wildlife Fund in Washington, D.C., said in an email.

One in Four Mammals at Risk of Extinction, Parachute Spider, New Shrew on 2008 "Red List"