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PARIS: Pop quiz: How many species of big, land-dwelling animals are there in the world?Add large herbivores – 100 kilos or more – such as bison, zebra and deer, along with rhinos, elephants, large apes, giraffes, hippos, wild pigs, tapirs ...Three fifths of these iconic creatures are already listed as threatened with extinction by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature, which tracks the survival status of Earth's animals and plants on its Red List.Charismatic species still numerous enough to attract millions of tourists to Africa each year are also in sharp decline.Over the course of the last century, lions, rhino and cheetah populations have collapsed by more than 90 percent; once common giraffes – newly classified as "vulnerable" to extinction – are down by 40 percent in just three decades; polar bears are forecast to lose a third of their numbers by mid-century.Scientists agree that Earth has entered a so-called "mass extinction event" in which species of all sizes and shapes are disappearing at 100 times the normal rate.
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