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Species protection needed at 78 sites

A scientific study out Thursday identifies 78 sites worldwide in dire need of environmental protection because they harbor species that could go extinct. Many of the locations are already in protected areas of 34 countries. Together they contain populations of birds, amphibians, and mammals that are globally threatened. Some are already designated for protection under the UNESCO World Heritage Convention, including Ecuador's Galapagos Islands, Peru's Manu National Park and India's Western Ghats.

Reptiles are at risk, study finds

Almost one in five of the world's reptile species are in danger of extinction as their habitats are cleared away for farming and logging, a report said Friday. An assessment by more than 200 experts of 1,500 randomly-selected species of snakes, lizards, crocodiles, tortoises and other reptiles, found that 19 percent were threatened, said the report in the journal Biological Conservation. Of these, more than a tenth of species were listed as critically endangered, 41 percent endangered, and nearly half as vulnerable.
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