The World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), after tracking the record of about 17,000 populations of aquatic and terrestrial vertebrates for over four decades, suggested that the populations of animal species have shrunk by an average of 60 percent in between 1970 and 2014. Among the freshwater animal groups, the population seemed to drop by 83 percent globally. After reaching this estimate, the WWF said that urgent actions are required to curb this issue, which is a result of deforestation and an increase in the amount of plastic waste in the water bodies.
According to the report, this decline can be a result of the mistakes committed by humans. “Increasing consumption by humans is the major factor behind the phenomenal change we are observing, as a result of the increased energy demand, water, and land. While this is considered to be a maturing threat, some of the major factors responsible for the continuation of the decline of biodiversity is the overexploitation of species, deforestation, and agriculture,” the report stated. The condensation of populations has been the extreme in Latin America and in the Carribean, wherein the present vertebrate count remains to be only 11 percent of what it was in the 1970s.
Vox presents a caution note after viewing this data, explaining that a 60 percent decrease in the vertebrate wildlife does not mean a 60 percent loss of animal species. The report does not evaluate that a slowing of the use of resources that has resulted in the disappearance of these animal species. By 2050, it has been estimated that the aggregate share of land on Earth that is not subjected to human activity will fall from the present one-quarter to just one-tenth.
“We are short on time,” Johan Rockström, a global sustainability expert at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research in Germany, tells The Guardian. “Just by addressing both ecosystems and climate do we stand a possibility of defending a steady planet for humanity’s future on Earth.”