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Indonesia’s Komodo dragons listed as “endangered”.   | Photo Credit: ROMEO GACAD

Some 28% of the 1,38,374 species assessed by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) for its survival watchlist are now at high risk of vanishing forever, the global conservation body said on Saturday.

Habitat loss, overexploitation and illegal trade have hammered global wildlife populations for decades, and climate change is now kicking in as a direct threat as well, the IUCN reported.

Trapped on island habitats made smaller by rising seas, Indonesia’s fearsome Komodo dragons were listed as “endangered”. The species “is increasingly threatened by the impacts of climate change” said the the IUCN, with rising sea levels expected to shrink its tiny habitat by at least 30% over the next 45 years.

Some 37% of the 1,200 shark and ray species assessed by experts are directly threatened by extinction, a third more than only seven years ago, it warned on Saturday.

“The conservation status of the group as a whole continues to deteriorate,” Nicholas Dulvy, a professor at Simon Fraser University, said.

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