One in five species of Australian mammals at risk of extinction

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Sydney, September 29 (ANI): A report has found that one in five species of Australian mammals are at risk of extinction.

According to www.news.co.au, of the 388 species of mammals found naturally in Australia, 78 are listed as vulnerable, endangered or extinct in the wild.

In addition, nearly 14 per cent of amphibians, five per cent of reptiles and six per cent of birds are at risk.

The figures are included in a new report, 'The Numbers of Living Species in Australia and the World', released by federal Environment Minister Peter Garrett.

Garrett said that the report was the only one in the world to document the world's 1,899,587 known plant and animal species.

The report also found 93 per cent of Australian reptiles and 87 per cent of Australian mammals were unique to the island continent.

In the three years since the last report was tabled, scientists have identified an additional 48 reptiles, eight frogs, eight mammals, 1184 flowering plants and 904 spiders, mites and scorpions.

However, according to Garrett, the 147,579 Australian species identified by the report were believed to account for just 25 per cent of the total number in existence.

"We have a long way to go. We have discovered and named only about a quarter of Australian estimated number of flora and fauna," he 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," he added. (ANI)

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