This year, an incredible number of new species were discovered. Still, as 2009 draws to a close, the outlook for biodiversity on the planet is grimmer than ever.
In November, an update to the IUCN Red List estimated that 36% of world's flora and fauna are threatened with extinction. Some are calling it the "Sixth Great Extinction" while others are scrambling to protect these species before it's too late.
For some, like this Kihansi Spray Toad, that time has already come. Though 30% of all known amphibians are threatened with extinction, 2009 was the year this species became "extinct in the wild."
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Image credit: Tim Herman/IUCN