Mass wildlife loss caused by human consumption — WWF report

Mass wildlife loss caused by human consumption — WWF report

Mass wildlife loss caused by human consumption — WWF report

The Living Planet Index, which is contained in the report, indicates that, in the last 50 years, populations of fish, birds, mammals, amphibians, and reptiles, worldwide, have declined by 60% and the main drivers for this catastrophe are South and Central America.

Dr Sam Gardner, acting director of WWF Scotland, said: "The same sad story is to be seen played out across Scotland, where habitat loss and climate change are combining to threaten our precious wildlife".

The organisation's Living Planet Report 2018 says nine out of 10 of the world's seabirds are thought to have plastic in their stomachs, while by 2050 only one tenth of the planet's land will be free from human impact. Methods of destruction The report outlines the various ways in which human activities have led to losses in animal populations.

Ciaran Flood from the Irish Wildlife Trust says wildlife in Ireland is declining in line with global trends.

And as an added warning to the WWF report on Monday, a new study published in the journal PNAS, led by S. Blair Hedges at the Center for Biodiversity at Temple University in the USA, found that less than one percent of the primary forest in Haiti remains, and that many endemic species, especially amphibians and reptiles, have been wiped out with the trees. That "grim" assessment comes from the latest report by the WWF's Living Planet Index, which has tracked almost 17,000 populations of terrestrial and aquatic vertebrates for more than four decades. "If there was a 60% decline in the human population, that would be equivalent to emptying North America, South America, Africa, Europe, China and Oceania".

[Figure 2 - source: WWF Living Planet Report-2018] State of Earth's life support system.

"We have known for many, many years that we are driving the planet to the very brink", said Marco Lambertini, the director general of WWF International.

Wildlife declines are more pronounced in certain areas. The most significant decline has been seen in tropical rainforests and in rivers, lakes and wetlands around the world. Eating less meat is an essential part of reversing losses, he said.The Living Planet Index has been criticised as being too broad a measure of wildlife losses and smoothing over crucial details. "They all tell you the same story", said Barrett. "But some conservation efforts are working everyone may not agree, but India's Project Tiger is one example".

The authors are setting their sights on 2020, when leaders are expected to review progress made in global treaties like the Paris Agreement and the Convention on Biological Diversity. A global deal for nature, similar to the Paris Climate Agreement, can ensure that effective conservation methods continue, and more ambitious goals are set. "This really is the last chance".

A damning report issued by the WWF has shed light on just how efficient a killer humans can be, potentially threatening the entire planet. "We have to get it right this time".

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