Written by Staff Writer
27 Oct, 2016 | 2:34 pm
Global wildlife populations have fallen by 58% since 1970, a report says.
The Living Planet assessment, by the Zoological Society of London (ZSL) and WWF, suggests that if the trend continues that decline could reach two-thirds among vertebrates by 2020.
The current rate of extinction is about 100 times faster than is considered normal – greater than during some of the previous five mass extinctions in the Earth’s history.
While the dinosaurs probably died out because a giant meteor hit the planet, just one species is the cause of the current problems: humans.
Human activity, including habitat loss, wildlife trade, pollution and climate change, is attributed to the declines.
These include poaching, farming, over-fishing, deforestation, climate change, the ditching of waste plastic, chemical and air pollution – behaviors that are affecting humans too.
Some of the most threatened species include African elephants, tigers, mountain gorillas and giant pandas, said the report.
The study assessed 14,152 populations of mammals, birds, fish, amphibians and reptiles.
Numbers fell by 58 per cent between 1970 and 2012 – and are dropping by around 2 per cent every year, with no sign of any slowdown.
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