58% down and counting
There has been a great movement recently to bring optimism back to wildlife conservation, and so there should be with great success stories such as the saving of the Iberian lynx, serious acts against wildlife crime on the top of international agendas, and new and exciting advances in conservation technology. Then all of a sudden, someone wakes you up by kicking you in the teeth announcing 'We have lost 58% of the worlds wildlife in 40 Years!'
The report, published by the World Wildlife Fund comprising of data from the Zoological Society of London's Living Planet Index, states that the world's vertebrates have declined by 58% over the years 1970 to 2012. The main culprits being habitat destruction for farming and logging, pollution of our climate, oceans and waterways and of course poaching for wildlife products and over harvesting for food.
The index is a measure of the state of global biological diversity based on 14,152 monitored populations of 3,706 vertebrate species from around the world and unfortunately shows a persistent downward trend. Unless we act now, wildlife populations will continue to decline, with an estimated loss of 67% by 2020.
Since entering the Anthropocene (the age of the Homo sapiens), you may have heard that the world is undergoing its 6th mass extinction event. Therefore, you may be inclined to think 'oh this is natural, it has happened before and the planet has recovered just fine.' the difference with this one is it is entirely caused by one species, humans.
Why should we care? Other then the fact that the world would be a darker and more boring place without its iconic, unique and fascinating creatures; there will be an increase of poverty, drought, famine and all around suffering. Biodiversity is crucial for a healthy and sustainable planet yet our food, water and climate security have all been compromised for economic gain.
Find out what you can do today to stop this environmental downfall.