69% Of Earth's Wildlife Has Been Lost In The Last 50 Years

And humans are to blame
Mangroves are also at threat from human activities. Credit WWF
Mangroves are also at threat from human activities. Credit WWF

There is a reason humans are believed to be the largest predators. While it is no secret that human activity has impacted all life on the planet, a recent World Wildlife Fund (WWF) report puts ink to paper, and it is underlined in red. Between 1970 and 2018, WWF monitored wildlife populations across the globe and ascertained that there had been a massive decline in their numbers. 69%, to be precise, all because of human activities.

The Jarring Reality

The Living Planet Report 2022 is a comprehensive study of trends in global biodiversity and the planet's health. What propelled a massive 69% decline in wildlife population There is a two-part answer loss of biodiversity and climate change, forced by unsustainable and rampant use of the planet's limited resources. The report lists habitat loss, pollution, invasive species and diseases as other causes of the decline in the fauna population.

Here Is What The Report States 

  • The Latin American and Caribbean region has been the most affected, witnessing a massive 94% fall in monitored wildlife populations.
  • During the same period, monitored populations in Africa plummeted by 66%, while Asia Pacific's monitored populations fell by 55%.
  • Freshwater populations have seen an 83% drop on average since 1970. Additionally, as per the IUCN Red List, cycads (a species of plants) are the most threatened, and corals are also declining rapidly, followed by amphibians.

Spotlight On The Amazon

The Amazon is home to the world's largest rainforest it supports 10% of animal and plant species and 30 million people. As per the report, we have lost 17% of the total forest cover in the Amazon due to the felling of trees for timber or the conversion of forest to farmland, and another 17% has been degraded.

What Needs To Be Done

The LPR 2022 warns that action has not been enough to achieve critical planetary goals so far. Marco Lambertini, Director General of WWF International, says the time to act is now. "At the COP15 biodiversity conference this December, leaders have an opportunity to reset our broken relationship with the natural world and deliver a healthier, more sustainable future for all&nbspwith an ambitious nature-positive global biodiversity agreement. In the face of our escalating nature crisis, it's essential this agreement delivers immediate action on the ground, including through a transformation of the sectors driving nature loss, and financial support to developing countries."

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