The greed of man is depleting the planet of its life: animal species are declining in numbers like never before. From 1970 till the present, we have lost more than 50 % of the animals, according to a recently revealed report. In a matter of 40 years, the numbers of the animals walking the Earth have dwindled so much that some have gone extinct and yet others are endangered.
Throughout the years, many are the animal species that have died out, and gone extinct. Others have been reduced to pathetic numbers. The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) has revealed a shocking report that demonstrates the great extent of the damage being done: 52 % of the animals spread all across the globe have disappeared from 1970 to now. The report of the WWF took into consideration 10 380 populations of 3038 species from many regions of the planet. In just around 40 years, we have lost more than half of the world’s animals.
The development humanity has fueled that entailed deforestation, climate change, overfishing, pollution together with other unsustainable projects led to the loss of habitats of populations of animals. Whole communities of mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians and fish have been reduced in number as a result. Freshwater species have met with an even worse fate: it seems that more than 75 % of them have disappeared.
The WWF report is being called a “wake-up call” for people to pay heed and act now.
If the trend continues, we will lose even more of the animals that are remaining. The Director of Science and Policy of the WWF, Mike Barrett, stated that: “People in Britain need to realise they are not just impacting their own country. The footprint of western societies is seen in every other part of the world. But we are not despairing, because we are able to say why we are losing these animals; we are seeing a loss of their habitats. We know what the problem and we are perfectly capable of putting it right.We need political agreement so a global climate deal can be reached and policies which take account of natural capital. And we need to start thinking about our own consumption.”
Low-income countries have been shown to be the most affected by this scourge: their wildlife populations have decreased by more than 58 % in the last 40 years, with Latin America topping the list with a decline of 83 %.
Africa has not been spared: forest elephants are the victims to habitat loss and poaching. They might even go extinct in the coming years: this is how drastic the situation has come to be.
Marine turtles have witnessed an 80 % decrease in their numbers.
Farmland birds in the UK have also been reduced in number.
Activities like deforestation, overfishing, and those involving carbon dioxide emission are still happening, in spite of all the warnings issued to steer populations towards sustainable development programs.
The damage being done by man seems to be never-ending. While we are deriving temporary gains from the activities, we are losing biodiversity as we progress forward – the truth is, we are actually going backward: our existence is highly dependent on our environment and the other life forms contained in the ecosystems; if they die, we die.
The WWF has reiterated that the public takes to the cautionary measures to put an end to this downward spiralling trend. It has recommended people to choose public transport over using the private vehicles in order to cut down on carbon dioxide emissions, and to increase recycling.
It has also mentioned that protected zones should be expanded.