60% of wildlife wiped out — WWF

Erika Holt
November 2, 2018

Human beings have wiped out a staggering 60% of the global populations of mammals, birds, fish, reptiles and amphibians since 1970, said the World Wildlife Fund.

It added that that the current rates of species extinction are 100 to 1,000 times higher than those before human pressure became a prominent factor.

"We are the first generation that has a clear picture of the value of nature and our impact on it", the report says.

But wildlife is not just a "nice to have" for humans, the report warned, with human food, health and medicines all relying on natural resources.

The report used indicators from the Living Planet Index, the Species Habitat Index, the International Union for Conservation of Nature Red List Index and the Biodiversity Intactness Index.

India is one of the worst affected by biodiversity loss even though its per capita global ecological footprint is among the lowest in the world, WWF experts said, commenting on the report's findings.

The regions with the greatest impact are found in the tropics, where Central and South America have suffered an 89 percent decrease in vertebrate populations compared to the base year.

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Intensified agriculture has threatened the abundance of pollinators, which has over 20,000 species of bees including other insects and animals, the report said. Crops pollinated by animals account for 35 per cent of global food production, while habitat loss means that the soil for crops to grow is not being replenished with nutrients.

The WWF urges global leaders to join forces to, well, save the planet.

Vertebrate species showed an 83 per cent decline in Canada specifically, Snider said. For this reason, many species live only in the lagoons or mountain across Central and South America, and any adjustment of the natural environment generally means the species extinction. At the same time, we are shoving many species, plant, and animal, to extinction. After reaching this estimate, the WWF said that urgent actions are required to curb this issue, which is a result of deforestation and an increase in the amount of plastic waste in the water bodies. The 1950s marks an explosion in growth. Only one-quarter of the land on Earth is substantially free from human activity - and that percentage is expected to decline. Some of these changes have been positive, some negative, and all of them are interconnected.

The World Wildlife Living Planet Report 2018 is a 75 page report.

"The nature conservation agenda is not only about securing the future of tigers, pandas, whales, and all the fantastic diversity of life we love and cherish on Earth", according to WWF International's Lambertini.

Evidence shows that the two agendas for the environment and human development must converge if we are to build a sustainable future for all. The group is pushing for 'a target that should be equivalent to the 2 degrees target (to limit global temperature rises) of the Paris agreement, and we still have to work out what the target is, ' Lambertini said.

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