• search
For Quick Alerts
ALLOW NOTIFICATIONS  
For Daily Alerts

Earth’s wildlife population 'falls by 60% in 44 years': Report

|

Switzerland, Oct 30: A startling report from the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) has shown that Earth's wildlife population declined by nearly two-thirds in just over four decades.

From 1970 to 2014, 60 percent of all animals with a backbone - fish, birds, amphibians, reptiles and mammals - were wiped out by human activity, according to WWF's Living Planet report, based on an ongoing survey of more than 4,000 species spread over 16,700 populations scattered across the globe.

PTI file photo

Human activity, including habitat loss, wildlife trade, pollution and climate change contributed to the declines.

But over the past 50 years expanding agricultural activity and the over-exploitation of natural resources to feed a growing world population, particularly its booming middle class, has pushed many ecosystems to the brink of collapse.

The decline is yet another sign that people have become the driving force for change on Earth, ushering in the epoch of the Anthropocene, a term derived from "anthropos", the Greek for "human" and "-cene" denoting a geological period.

Conservation efforts appear to be having scant impact as the index is showing a steeper plunge in wildlife populations than two years ago, when the WWF estimated a 52 percent decline by 2010.

"Wildlife is disappearing within our lifetimes at an unprecedented rate," Marco Lambertini, Director General of WWF International, said in a statement of the group's Living Planet Report, published every two years.

80% of freshwater populations has vanished

More than 80 per cent of freshwater populations has vanished, with freshwater fish accounting for a higher rate of extinction than any other vertebrate. Since 1950 nearly 6bn tonnes of fish and other seafood have been removed from the world's oceans.

Measured by weight, or biomass, wild animals today only account for four per cent of mammals on Earth, with humans (36 per cent) and livestock (60 per cent) making up the rest. Ten thousand years ago that ratio was probably reversed.

Measured by weight, or biomass, wild animals today only account for four per cent of mammals on Earth, with humans (36 per cent) and livestock (60 per cent) making up the rest. Ten thousand years ago that ratio was probably reversed.

Global warming

The Paris Agreement, negotiated under the UN convention on climate change, also set a clear target: global warming must be held to "well below" 2C, and 1.5C if possible.

The parallel UN Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), by contrast, has lots of targets running out to 2020 which are not only too weak, but -- with one possible exception -- will probably not be met, Lambertini said.

"The CBD is failing," he told AFP. But an upcoming meeting of the 195-nation body could be the beginning of a "revolution" that will see the Convention re-engineered in 2020 into "a new deal for Nature."

For Daily Alerts
Get Instant News Updates
Enable
x
Notification Settings X
Time Settings
Done
Clear Notification X
Do you want to clear all the notifications from your inbox?
Settings X
X
We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. This includes cookies from third party social media websites and ad networks. Such third party cookies may track your use on Oneindia sites for better rendering. Our partners use cookies to ensure we show you advertising that is relevant to you. If you continue without changing your settings, we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies on Oneindia website. However, you can change your cookie settings at any time. Learn more