Global wildlife populations face two-thirds decline by 2020: report

Global wildlife populations face two-thirds decline by 2020: report

Global wildlife populations are facing an average decline of two-thirds by the end of this decade, the Zoological Society of London (ZSL) and the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) warned in their recently-released Living Planet Report.

Based on the Living Planet Index, which tracks populations of wildlife species, the new report titled “Living Planet Report 2016: Risk & resilience in a new era” warned that global populations of birds, mammals, reptiles, amphibians and fish have declined 58 per cent since 1970.
The report also predicted that global wildlife populations will decline 67 per cent by 2020, if the alarming trend persists.

The researchers reached the conclusion after examining more than 14,000 vertebrate populations of nearly 3,700 wildlife species from 1970 to 2012. They blamed human activities for the drastic decline in wildlife populations.

Marco Lambertini, the director general of WWF International, said, “Wildlife is disappearing within our lifetimes at an unprecedented rate … The top threats to species identified in the report are directly linked to human activities, including habitat loss, degradation and overexploitation of wildlife.”

The researchers warned that disappearance of wildlife will adversely affect biodiversity, gradually leading to the collapse of the whole ecosystem that is essential for humans’ existence.

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