More than one in three of Europe's freshwater fish species faces extinction because ecosystems are being destroyed, the World Conservation Union said Thursday.
Scientists from Switzerland and Germany have found that 200 of the 522 species of European freshwater fish are threatened by the rapid development of agriculture and industry over the past 100 years, the group said.
The union, a network of nations, agencies and some 10,000 scientists and experts from 181 countries, said 12 species are already extinct.
Species at risk include the European eel, the jarabugo in southwestern Spain and Portugal, and several types of fish found only in one place, such as the Lake Ammersee kilch, found only in the lake in Germany.
The group, which is known by the abbreviation IUCN and produces an annual "Red List" of endangered species, said measures to reduce pollution, preserve wetlands, and limit the amount of water extracted from streams and rivers are needed to conserve the fish species.
The research is published in the "Handbook of European Freshwater Fishes," which was funded by the North of England Zoological Society.
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