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Plea to save 100 most threatened species

Conservation experts released a list Tuesday of the world's 100 most threatened species and warned that only a changed public and government mindset could save them from imminent extinction.

world Updated: Sep 11, 2012 22:55 IST

Conservation experts released a list Tuesday of the world's 100 most threatened species and warned that only a changed public and government mindset could save them from imminent extinction.

The list compiled by the Zoological Society of London (ZSL) in a report titled 'Priceless or Worthless?' comprised 100 animals, plants and fungi deemed first in line for extinction.

"All the species listed are unique and irreplaceable. If they vanish, no amount of money can bring them back," said the report's co-author Ellen Butcher.

"If we take immediate action, we can give them a fighting chance for survival. But this requires society to support the moral and ethical position that all species have an inherent right to exist," Butcher said.

The ZSL report was released in Jeju Island in South Korea where some 8,000 government officials, NGOs, scientists and business chiefs from 170 nations are gathered for the World Conservation Congress.

Conservationists fear those species included in the list, like the Tarzan's Chameleon from Madagascar and the Pigmy Three-toed Sloth from Panama, will be allowed to die out because they provide humans with no obvious benefits.

"The whole world has become more utilitarian and looking for what nature can do for us," ZSL's director of conservation, Jonathan Baillie, said.

"If we can't save the 100 most threatened, what hope is there for the rest of life on the planet?" he added.