For kids, video games top saving nature: survey

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The Independent Online

Ten times more children around the world rank watching television and playing video games as more important to them than saving the environment, according to a survey released Wednesday.

Earth's flora and fauna are disappearing 1,000 times faster than the natural extinction rate, but only nine percent of kids gave a top priority to protecting the planet's animal life.

Many did not even know what is meant by "endangered species," reported the survey, released by the UN Convention on Biodiversity.

"The survey confirms the alarming disconnect of our children with nature," the Convention's Executive Secretary, Ahmed Djoghlaf, said in a statement.

He called for "urgent action to close this growing gap between tomorrow's citizens and their natural heritage."

Sponsored by European aircraft giant Airbus, the survey was conducted among 10,000 five-to-18 year olds in 10 countries.

When asked which type of animal or plant they would most like to save, nine percent cited birds, 23 percent favoured reptiles, and 50 percent gave mammals top priority, with the snow leopard given as an example.

Only six percent chose plants and less than one percent opted for insects.

The participating countries were Australia, Britain, China, France, Germany, Japan, Mexico, Singapore, Spain and the United States.

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