Humans wipe out 60% of animal populations over 40 years — WWF Report

Humans are wiping out life of earth says WWF with many species in danger of disappearing

Humans are wiping out life of earth says WWF with many species in danger of disappearing

Indeed, of all the plant, amphibian, reptile, bird and mammal species that have gone extinct since AD 1500, 75% were harmed by overexploitation or agricultural activity or both. The demand we place on the planet's natural resources to fuel our lifestyles continues to take a huge toll on biodiversity around the world. "We're monitoring more populations (16,704), more species (4,005), and the trend remains the same".

The percentage of the world's seabirds with plastic in their stomach is estimated to have increased from 5 per cent in 1960 to 90 per cent today, and the world has already lost around half its shallow water corals in just 30 years.

The WWF's report comes just weeks after a United Nations report on climate change warned that global temperatures are rising quickly, and risk rising to 1.5 degrees, which would wipe out most of the planet's coral reefs and cause severe heatwaves.

What is increasingly clear is that human development and wellbeing are reliant on healthy natural systems, and we can not continue to enjoy the former without the latter.

Tanya Steele from the WWF observed: "If we want a future with orangutans and puffins, then we need global leaders to step up and agree a global deal for nature".

Despite the disheartening statistics, the WWF points out that it's not too late to turn things around, and that protecting nature helps protect people.

Tropical areas have seen the worst declines, with an 89 per cent fall in populations monitored in Latin America and the Caribbean since 1970. It also says that nearly 301 mammal species are at the risk of getting extinct due to being hunted for food.

But Marco Lambertini, director general of WWF International, said the fundamental issue was consumption: "We can no longer ignore the impact of current unsustainable production models and wasteful lifestyles".

Freshwater fauna have also declined in population by 80 percent since this time. Together, we must mobilize public and private actors to show greater action and ambition to reverse the devastating trend of biodiversity loss.

Over-exploitation of nature caused by agriculture and deforestation are the major causes behind 60 per cent of the wildlife and 87 per cent wetlands being wiped out, says the WWF report.

"We need to radically escalate the political relevance of nature and galvanize a cohesive movement across state and non-state actors to drive change, to ensure that public and private decision-makers understand that business as usual is not an option", it adds. "There is a serious threat to global soil biodiversity", he said.

Their latest global report claims wildlife is dying out faster than ever and says nature needs worldwide "life support".

Globally, WWF is taking the window of opportunity between now to 2020 (when the Aichi targets under the Convention on Biological Diversity and the Environmental Goals of the 2030 agenda culminate and a new comprehensive framework for the future is set) to shape a positive vision for nature and for the planet by collaborating with a consortium of nearly 40 universities, conservation organizations and intergovernmental organizations to launch the research initiative, Bending the Curve of Biodiversity Loss.

Recommended News

We are pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news.
Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper.
Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.