Six of eight bear species close to extinctionNovember 14th, 2007 - 10:38 am ICT by admin
Thousands of scientists are working with the IUCN to map the threats to all land-mammal populations around the globe.
Of these eight bear species, only two - the Brown bear (Ursus arctos ) and American Black bear (Ursus americanus ) - are relatively healthy, scientists claim.
The rest are either vulnerable or endangered. Polar bears (Ursus maritimus ) - classed as marine mammals - were classified as vulnerable last year.
Added to the vulnerable list this year is the Sun bear (Helarctos malayanus ), a species of small bear that lives throughout Southeast Asia.
Hunting and human encroachment are the main reasons behind the declines, says Simon Stuart, a senior adviser with the Union. (ANI)
Tags: adviser, american black bear, brown bear, declines, extinction, human encroachment, iucn, land mammal, mammal populations, marine mammals, polar bears, scientists, southeast asia, sun bear, ursus americanus, ursus arctos, ursus maritimus