Governments worldwide are failing their commitments to reduce biodiversity loss by 2010, according to a report released last week by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

The IUCN's analysis of its 2008 global 'Red List' of threatened species uses indices to track trends in extinction risk. Birds, mammals, amphibians and corals all showed a continuing deterioration, it says.

The United Nations has declared 2010 the international year of biodiversity, under its Convention on Biological Diversity. On 26 June, European Union (EU) environment ministers meeting in Luxembourg said they were "deeply concerned" by a European Commission assessment in December stating that the EU is unlikely to meet its own ambitious aim of halting biodiversity loss by 2010.