Humans to blame as 60% of world's wildlife is lost

Humans to blame as 60% of world's wildlife is lost

They finished the report with a desperate plea to the public to make some sort of change, saying: "WWF is calling on people, businesses and governments to mobilise and deliver on a comprehensive framework agreement for nature and people under the CBD, one that galvanizes public and private action to protect and restore global biodiversity and nature and bend the curve on the devastating trends highlighted in the report".

Final quote: "We are the first generation to know we are destroying our planet and the last one that can do anything about it", says Tanya Steele, the WWF's chief executive in the UK. These reductions are thought to be directly linked to human activity since current rates of species extinction are now 100 to 1,000 times higher than before human pressures became a factor. "This is projected to decline to just one-tenth by 2050", said the report.

The report warns that wildlife is not just "nice to have" for humans.

The report also found that 90% of seabirds have plastics in their stomachs, compared with 5% in 1960, while about half of the world's shallow-water corals have been lost in the past three decades.

But the onslaught of hunting, shrinking habitat, pollution, illegal trade and climate change - all caused by humans - has been too much to overcome, he acknowledged.

"We have known for many years that we are driving the planet to the brink", said WWF International Director General Marco Lambertini.

While climate change plays a role in the loss of biodiversity, the report says the bigger culprit is runaway human consumption.

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The pace of population increase - long taboo in development and conservation circles - also took off around 1950, the date scientists have chosen as the "gold spike", or starting point, for a new geological period dubbed the Anthropocene, or "age of man".

"If we want a world with orangutans and puffins, clean air and enough food for everyone, we need urgent action from our leaders and a new global deal for nature and people that kick starts a global programme of recovery". "Natural systems essential to our survival - forests, oceans, and rivers - remain in decline", he said.

As a result, global wildlife populations have declined 60 per cent between 1970 and 2014.

"It is the exponential growth over the last 50 years in the use of energy, water, timber, fish, food, fertiliser, pesticides, minerals, plastics - everything".

"For the 2018 report, 319 new species have been added to the Living Planet Index database", Colby Loucks, deputy goal lead and senior director at the WWF Wildlife Conservation Program, told weather.com.

African penguins are seen on Boulders Beach in South Africa.

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