Six of eight bear species close to extinction

November 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)

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