Earth's Wild Animal Population Plummets 60 Per Cent In 44 Years: WWF

Earth's Wild Animal Population Plummets 60 Per Cent In 44 Years: WWF

Mangroves, for example, trap nearly five times more carbon than tropical forests; crops partially pollinated by animals account for 35 per cent of the world's food production; and coral reefs protect around 200 million people against storm surges, according to the report. The astonishing decline in wildlife populations is a grim reminder and perhaps the ultimate indicator of the pressure we exert on the planet'.

Tracking 16,704 populations of 4,005 vertebrate species, the LPI finds that global populations of mammals, birds, fish, reptiles, and amphibians have declined, on average, by 60 percent between 1970 and 2014, the most recent year with available data. Four years ago, the decline was 52%. "Wildlife around the world continue to dwindle", Carter Roberts, President and CEO of WWF-US, said in a statement.

World Wildlife Fund (WWF) released a report which charges humanity with clearing out 60% of animal species since 1970 through reckless habitat destruction and "exploding human consumption". Globally, nature provides services worth around $125 trillion a year, while also helping ensure the supply of fresh air, clean water, food, energy, medicines and more.

The aim is to bend the biodiversity curve upwards, away from the current declining trend, by mitigating the impact of excessive human consumption and unchecked biodiversity loss through the development a roadmap 2020-2050 that is based on active participation of all stake-holders, namely, The Governments, Businesses, the Researchers and the community at large.

A senior ecologist who requested not to be named said habitat loss is bound to be associated with decline in biodiversity. Roughly three-quarters of all land was found to now be significantly affected by humanity.

"Scientists call it the "great acceleration"," he said in a phone interview. And it says there are just two years left to start creating serious change.

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This isn't just something which is restricted to the Tropics... here in the United Kingdom as well we're also seeing massive areas of decline. It is rivers and lakes where the damage is being felt the most, where populations of wildlife have fallen by as much as 83pc. Eating less meat is an essential part of reversing losses, he said.The Living Planet Index has been criticised as being too broad a measure of wildlife losses and smoothing over crucial details.

The pace of loss is staggering in some ecosystems. "They all tell you the same story", said Barrett.

Half-a-century of conservation efforts have scored spectacular successes, with significant recoveries among tigers, manatees, grizzly bears, bluefin tuna and bald eagles. Giant pandas in China and otters in the United Kingdom have also been doing well.

Marco Lambertini, director general of WWF International, said that the fundamental issue is consumption, and we can not ignore the impact of wasteful lifestyles. "This really is the last chance".

"We've actually got more land protected than ever before but it's not enough to stem the decline", she said. The report also states that Earth has lost an estimated 50 percent of its shallow water corals in the last 30 years, along with a startling 20 percent of the Amazon.

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