21 new species in danger of extinction: UN convention

ROME, December 5, 2008 (AFP) – Twenty-one animal species, including the cheetah, three dolphin families and an Egyptian vulture, were added to the list of those in danger of extinction by a UN conference that ended Friday.

Six other bird species as well as manatees have also been placed on the list of animals benefiting from increased protections, called list I.

In addition, next year has been proclaimed the “year of the gorilla” to help the survival of threatened species.

The findings were made at a conference of the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals.

Several types of sharks have been placed on the so-called list II of threatened species, including two families of Mako sharks in the Mediterranean whose population have fallen off by 96 percent in recent years due to overfishing.

The conference also adopted a resolution that aims to reduce noise pollution in oceans caused by increases in vessels, more seismic surveys and a new generation of military sonars.

Marine mammals that use sound, including whales and dolphins, are particularly affected by the noise.

A spokesman for the Whale and Dolphin Society welcomed measures on increased protection for marine