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The animals and plants we cannot live without

From the Amazon rainforests to the frozen ice fields of the arctic, animals, plants and insects are disappearing at alarming rates from pollution, habitat loss, climate change and hunting.

Source:  Copyright 2008, Telegraph
Date:  November 16, 2008
Byline:  Richard Gray
Original URL: Status ONLINE

Bees are just one of the many animals facing possible extinction due to pollution, habitat loss, climate change and hunting Photo: PA

Nearly 17,000 species are now considered to be threatened with extinction and 869 species are classed as extinct or extinct in the wild on the International Union for Conservation of Nature's Red List. In the last year alone 183 species became more endangered.

Now, in the face of the growing threat posed by environmental changes around the globe, five leading scientists are to argue whether there is a single type of plant or animal which the planet really cannot afford to lose.

The debate, titled Irreplaceable -- The World's Most Invaluable Species, will see five experts present the case for the world's most important animals and plants from a shortlist of five: primates, bats, bees, fungi and plankton.

Primates, which are among the most threatened of animals, are likely to win hearts due to their ...

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