Brazil: Counting recent species extinction to 26 with 644 on the way

Deforestation in the Amazon Rainforest region has recently led to the extinction of 26 animal and plant species, according to a UN agency  report released Wednesday. At the same time, another 644 species of  animals and plants, including the red-faced spider monkey, the  spectacled bear and the otter, were in danger of extinction.

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According to a UN Environmental Program report, by 2005 the region  lost 17 percent of its forest — a total of 857,666 square kilometers,  nearly equal to the territory of Venezuela.

Meanwhile, deforestation  in the region was still going on at an accelerated pace. Internal and  external factors led to the deforestation in each of the nine  countries straddling the Rainforest region, UNEP said, including  urbanization and the exploitation of natural resources, as well as  global warming, which affects the rainy seasons and ecological  balance.

The report pointed out three key factors that will influence  development of the region in the future: public policies, the market,  and the development of new technologies.

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