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The World

May 12, 1987

Destruction of tropical forests is proceeding at a rate that threatens to become "the greatest biological disaster ever perpetrated by man," according to the Switzerland-based World Wildlife Fund. The fund issued a new booklet saying that every minute, an area of tropical forest equal to 20 soccer fields is damaged or destroyed. As a result, more than 40% of the world's tropical forests already have been lost, it said. Tropical forests cover only 7% of the Earth's surface, but they are believed to shelter more than half of the world's 5 million species, the booklet said.

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