68% Decline in Wildlife Population Since 1970: WWF Report
Global populations of mammals, birds, amphibians, reptiles and fish have seen an average two-third decline in less than half a century, due in large part to the very same environmental destruction which is contributing to the emergence of zoonotic diseases such as Covid-19, according to the WWF’s (World Wildlife Fund) Living Planet Report 2020.
The Living Planet Index (LPI) shows that factors believed to increase the planet’s vulnerability to pandemics, including
land-use change and the use and trade of wildlife, were also behind the 68 per cent average decline in the global vertebrate species’ populations between 1970 and 2016.
“The Living Planet Report 2020 underlines how humanity’s increasing destruction of nature is having catastrophic impacts not only on wildlife populations but also on human health and all aspects of our lives,” said Marco Lambertini, Director General, WWF International.
He further added that, “We can’t ignore the evidence – these serious declines in wildlife species populations are an indicator that nature is unravelling and that our planet is flashing red warning signs of systems failure. From the fish in our oceans and rivers to bees which play a crucial role in our agricultural production, the decline of wildlife affects directly nutrition, food security and the livelihoods of billions of people.”
The Living Planet Report 2020 calls for urgent action to reverse the trend by 2030 by ending the destruction of natural habitats.
As per the report, the global causes for the decline in wildlife population include environmental destruction like deforestation, unsustainable agriculture and illegal wildlife trade.
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