Loss of two-thirds of wild animals predicted within 5 years!

Unless checked, the impact of human activity is set to reduce wildlife by an estimated two-thirds within five years, according to a major report produced by Living Planet Index’.  

The Living Planet Index (LPI) measures the state of the world’s biological diversity based on population trends of vertebrate species (mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibian and fish) from land, freshwater and marine habitats.

http://www.dreamstime.com/royalty-free-stock-image-animals-biodiversity-image28900966

http://www.dreamstime.com/royalty-free-stock-image-animals-biodiversity-image28900966

The report – Living Planet Report 2016 – Risk and resilience in a new era – states that: “global biodiversity is declining at an alarming rate, putting the survival of other species and our own future at risk.”

According to the report, 58 per cent of vertebrate species declined between 1970 and 2012 and predicts a two-thirds decline by 2020, a half century since monitoring began. This, the report says, is inevitable “unless we act now to reform our food and energy systems and meet global commitments on addressing climate change, protecting biodiversity and supporting sustainable development.”

In an article reflecting on the implications of the report, the World Wildlife Fund’s (WWF) director of science, Mike Barrett, told the Guardian newspaper (27/10/2016):

“Rivers and lakes are the hardest hit habitats, with animal populations down by 81% since 1970, due to excessive water extraction, pollution and dams. All the pressures are magnified by global warming, which shifts the ranges in which animals are able to live.”

In words that could have been written by the Holy Father, Pope Francis, the Guardian quotes Marco Lambertini, director general of WWF, who told the British broadsheet:

“The richness and diversity of life on Earth is fundamental to the complex life systems that underpin it. Life supports life itself and we are part of the same equation. Lose biodiversity and the natural world and the life support systems, as we know them today, will collapse.”

To access the full Guardian newspaper article, please click here:

Both a summary and the full Living Planet Index report can be accessed by clicking here:

 

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