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A new scientific report says humans are eliminating about 1 per cent of all animal species each year.
The census of wildlife says that more than one in four species have disappeared in the past 35 years.
Pollution, the expansion of farming and cities, and over-hunting are said to have caused the most rapid decline since the extinction of the dinosaurs.
Colin Butfield from the British arm of environmental organisation WWF said the new data has to be taken seriously.
"It's an absolutely alarming statistic, especially when you consider the rising awareness in environmental problems at the moment that we're still seeing substantial declines in every major part of the world, every major ecosystem in the world," he said.
"We've looked at 4,000 different populations of 1,500 animals and clearly that's not every population in the world, but it's a huge sample size and they're all showing a similar type of trend."