Since 1970 the average number of animals has gone down by almost 70% a report says.


Since 1970 the average number of animals has gone down by almost 70% a report says. A leading scientific assessment says that the number of animals on Earth has dropped by an average of 69% in just under 50 years. This is because humans continue to clear forests, consume more than the planet can support, and pollute on an industrial scale.

The number of birds, fish, amphibians, and reptiles has dropped by an average of more than two-thirds between 1970 and 2018, according to the WWF and the Zoological Society of London’s (ZSL) biennial Living Planet Report. This is true everywhere, from the open ocean to tropical rainforests. The number was 68% two years ago and 60% four years ago.

Many scientists think that humans are causing the sixth mass extinction, which is the biggest loss of life on Earth since the time of the dinosaurs. The 89 people who wrote the report are urging world leaders to come to an ambitious agreement at the Cop15 biodiversity summit in Canada this December and to cut carbon emissions to keep global warming below 1.5C this decade. This is to stop the destruction of nature that is happening at a rapid rate.

The Living Planet Index uses global analysis of 32,000 populations of 5,230 animal species to measure changes in the amount of wildlife across continents and taxa. This makes a graph that looks like a stock index of life on Earth.

In 48 years, the average number of animals in Latin America, the Caribbean, and the Amazon has dropped by 94%, which is the most of any area on Earth. The head of WWF-UK, Tanya Steele, said, “This report shows that the worst declines are in Latin America, which is home to the Amazon, the world’s largest rainforest.

The rate of deforestation there is getting worse, which means that not only are trees being cut down but so are the animals that depend on them and the Amazon’s ability to help us fight climate change.

Asia and the Pacific had the second biggest drop, at 55%, followed by North America, at 20%. The drop was 18% in Europe and Central Asia. The report says that the total loss is the same as if all the people in Europe, the Americas, Africa, Oceania, and China disappeared.

Steele said, “Despite the science, the dire predictions, the passionate speeches and promises, the burning forests, the flooded countries, the record temperatures, and the millions of people who have been forced to leave their homes, world leaders continue to sit back and watch our world burn in front of our eyes.” “The climate and nature crises, whose outcomes are tied together, are not some distant problem that our grandchildren will solve with technology that hasn’t been invented yet.”

She also said, “We need our new prime minister to show that the UK is serious about helping people, nature, and the economy thrive by making sure every promise for our world is kept. If you fail, it won’t be forgotten or forgiven.”

Leading environmental groups have said that Liz Truss cares more about the economy than about protecting nature and the environment. They are also worried that rare animals and plants could lose their protections if she follows through on her promise to get rid of EU red tape later this year.

The report says that not all countries started out with the same amount of nature loss. For example, the biodiversity intactness index shows that the UK has only 50% of its biodiversity when compared to historical levels. This makes it one of the most nature-depleted countries in the world.

The report says that changes in how land is used are still the most important reason for biodiversity loss around the world. Mike Barrett, the executive director of science and conservation at WWF-UK, said, “On a global scale, most of the declines we see are caused by the loss and fragmentation of habitat, which is caused by the global agricultural system and its expansion into intact habitat to grow food.”

The researchers point out that infrastructure and farmland are making it harder and harder for animals to move through terrestrial landscapes. Only 37% of rivers longer than 1,000km (600 miles) continue to flow freely along their entire length, and only 10% of the world’s protected areas on land are linked.

The authors say that future declines are not inevitable. They say that the Himalayas, south-east Asia, the east coast of Australia, the Albertine Rift and Eastern Arc mountains in eastern Africa, and the Amazon basin are some of the most important places to protect.

The IUCN is also making a standard to measure the conservation potential of an animal. This is called the animal’s “green status,” and it will help scientists figure out how to help some of the one million species on Earth that are in danger of going extinct. In a study done last year, the pink pigeon, the burrowing bettong, and the Sumatran rhino were all named as species with good chances of being saved.

The head of ZSL’s indicators and assessments unit, Robin Freeman, said it was clear that people are destroying the very foundations of life and that we need to act quickly. “If we want to see a change in the rate of biodiversity loss, it’s not just about conservation.

It’s also about changing production and consumption, and the only way we can legislate or call for that is to have clear, measurable targets at Cop15 in December that ask for recovery of abundance, reduction of extinction risk, and stopping extinctions.”