Quarter of world’s freshwater fish species at risk of extinction, researchers warn

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Thousands of species of freshwater fish are at risk of extinction, the International Union for Conservation of Nature said in a Monday report released at the United Nations climate conference in Dubai.
The organization assessed just under 15,000 species and found 25% face possible extinction. At least 17% of the threatened species are impacted by climate change. Rising sea levels are causing seawater to move up rivers, the IUCN said. Freshwater species are also threatened by pollution, overfishing, invasive species, disease, dams and water extraction. Pollution impacts 57% of freshwater fish species at risk of extinction, the organization said.
More than half of the world’s known fish species live in freshwater, according to Kathy Hughes, co-chair of the IUCN freshwater fish specialist group. She said they’re integral to the ecosystem.

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