Earth’s wildlife population declined by 60 per cent in 44 years: WWF

Earth’s wildlife population declined by 60 per cent in 44 years: WWF

Earth’s wildlife population declined by 60 per cent in 44 years: WWF

Cape Town -The way we feed, fuel and finance our societies and economies is pushing nature, according to the World Wildlife Fund's latest Living Planet Report. WWF's report also shows that only a quarter of land on earth is not severely damaged by human activities, but it is expected to decrease to only tenth of the land by 2025, due to pollution and climate change.

Tropical areas have seen the worst declines since then, with an 89 per cent fall in populations monitored in Latin America and the Caribbean.

"It's serious and I wish people would take that really seriously and try and do something to help".

More species referenced in the report as those whose populations are in decline include black and white rhinos, polar bears, African grey parrots, hedgehogs, whale sharks, Bornean orangutans, puffins and the wandering albatross. The report further goes on to identify the two key drivers of biodiversity loss - over exploitation of resources and agriculture, attributing 75% of species loss since 1500AD to these two factors.

The report found that human consumption of food and resources has caused the significant drop in wild animals which some scientists are now calling a "mass extinction".

Human population is at 7.6 billion and will increase to 10 billion by 2050 and about 12 billion by 2100.

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The population of the critically endangered gharial (crocodile species) declined by approximately 58 per cent between 1997 and 2006 across its range in India and Nepal. "We have to get it right this time". The images of the graphs (Figure 1 and Figure 2) are much like that in Dan Brown's fictional novel Inferno which dealt with the overpopulation crisis in the world.

Mr. Singh also raised certain concerns relating to ocean acidification and the menace of ocean plastic debris as major threats to watch out for in the near future.

"There can not be a healthy, happy and prosperous future for people on a planet with a destabilized climate, depleted oceans and rivers, degraded land and empty forests, all stripped of biodiversity, the web of life that sustains us all", WWF Director General Marco Lambertin wrote in the report, which included contributions from more than 50 experts from around the world. "The Living Planet report clearly demonstrates that human activities are destroying nature at an unacceptable rate, threatening the wellbeing of current and future generations".

Pointing at the increasing impact of human beings on species loss, the report has said the planet is driving towards a new geological epoch: the Anthropocene.

Despite numerous international scientific studies and policy agreements confirming that the conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity is a global priority, worldwide trends in biodiversity continue to decline.

"We are the first generation to know we are destroying our planet and the last one that can do anything about it", said Tanya Steele, WWF chief executive.

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