The World Wildlife Fund has announced that worldwide populations of all species have declined by 52% in the past 40 years. It’s even worse for freshwater species with their populations falling by 76%.
The CEO if WWF-Australia, Dermot O’Gorman said, “Of the populations of mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians and fish tracked around the world since 1970, we’ve lost more than half in just two generations.”
These insights were provided in the WWF’s Living Planet report. This report showed the habitat loss and degradation provide the biggest threats to biodiversity around the world. Hunting and fishing along with climate change are adding to the loss of species.
O’Gorman added, “The scale of biodiversity loss and damage to the ecosystems essential for our well-being is alarming, and a direct consequence of the way we produce and consume.”
One of the good outcomes from the report is that land based protected areas area managing to help increase wildlife populations. “Wildlife populations in land-based protected areas have suffered less than half the rate of decline of those in unprotected areas. In one example, Nepal is noted for increasing its tiger population in recent years,” said O’Gorman.
At the current time humans are creating an unsustainable future for ourselves as we take more than the world can give. If we continue to use the earth’s resources at the current rate we will need 1.5 earths to meet our demands.
The loss of bio diversity appears to be worse in low income countries whose biodiversity declines at an average rate of 58%. High income countries have only shown a 10% country. It is believed that this low number is achieved through importing goods. It is said that this has outsourced our biodiversity loss.
The largest demand on the Earth’s resources is being made by China. The United States follow close behind with India, Brazil and Russia rounding out the top 5 demanding countries. These 5 countries account for 50% of the world’s global ecological footprint.