Wildlife is down by one-third, says WWF

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London, May 16 (UNI) Number of birds, animals, marine and fresh water creatures are almost down by one-third, courtesy human activities, according to WWF survey.

Continuous human exploitation of natural environment and wildlife has led to destructrion and decline of animal habitats at a catastrophic rate, Daily Telegraph reported.

Five factors have been attributed for the declining flora and fauna worlwide: habitat loss, exploitation, pollution, the spread of invasive species and climate change.

The conservation charity's Living Planet Index says an undertaking by EU countries in 2002 to halt biodiversity loss by 2010 will not now be met. The situation is likely to get worse as climate change becomes an increasingly important factor affecting species.

The Index tracks almost 1500 different species of fish, amphibian, reptiles, bird and mammal to obtain a global snapshot of nature's health.

Nature's decline continues as an exploding human population consumes 25 per cent more natural resources than the planet can replace every year, according to WWF.

''Biodiversity underpins the health of the planet and has a direct impact on all our lives so it is alarming that despite an increased awareness of environmental issues we continue to see a downtrend trend,'' Head of Campaigns at WWF-UK, Colin Butfield said.

''However, there are small signs for hope and if government grasps what is left of this rapidly closing window of opportunity, we can begin to reverse this trend and move away from three planet living to a one planet future,'' he added.

The report said food, clean water, medicines and protection from natural hazards were important in maintaining security and quality of life for people and if they were to be maintained then the species, natural habitats and ecosystems that support them needed to be protected.

''Reduced biodiversity means millions of people face a future where food supplies are more vulnerable to pests and disease and where water is in irregular or short supply,'' WWF Director General James Leape said.

The report called on governments attending the Bonn conference to fulfil their pledge to reduce biodiversity loss, halt deforestation and cut greenhouse gas emissions.


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