The chimpanzee is facing a 50 per cent drop in numbers.
The chimpanzee is facing a 50 per cent drop in numbers. LISA RIDLEY

UN acts to save chimps, giraffes, vultures, fish

CHIMPANZEES, leopards and giraffes are among 34 endangered species that will receive greater protection, governments attending a UN wildlife conference have agreed.

Many migratory species are nearly extinct and the UN-backed conference has called for increased international co-operation to protect them.

The Convention of Migratory Species held in the Philippines voted for additional protection for 12 breeds of mammals, 16 birds and six fish.

The whale shark, the world's largest fish, has been added to the list, as well as the giraffe, which is on the decline in Africa.

Fewer than 90,000 are thought to be left in the wild.

The chimpanzee is facing a 50 per cent drop in numbers and has been added to the list.

At greater risk is the gobi bear - only 45 individuals are known to remain in the wild in China and Mongolia.

It's been added to the list.

Ten species of vultures will also get special protection.

The convention was organised under the UN Environment Program and had more than 1000 delegates from 129 countries.

Convention executive secretary Bradnee Chambers said everybody had to "pitch in” to protect the world's wildlife.

"It has helped to convey the message that the future of migratory wildlife is integral to our future and that we all have responsibility to act,” he said.

Governments also agreed to co-operate on reducing the negative impacts of marine debris, noise pollution and climate change on migratory species.

Therese Mundita Lim, director of the Biodiversity Migration Bureau, said migratory animals "play a critical role in our planet's ecosystems” by acting as pollinators of crops and other plants, by controlling pests and through being a source of food and income.

- Chloe Farand, The Independent