The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) warns that two-thirds of the planet’s wildlife might be lost by 2020.
A new report by the WWF has found quick decline in the animal populations all over the planet as thousands of species struggle to survive the harms of humanity.
In their 2016 biennial Living Planet Report published last Thursday, the WWF has found that the overall vertebrate population has dropped 58 percent from 1970 to 2012, the latest year with available data. The organization warned that if deforestation, overhunting and over-industrialization continues, the world could lose more than two-thirds of wildlife by 2020.
The report continued to explain that humans have affected the whole spectrum of vertebrate life, warning that the sizes of animal populations are at stake here, not only the extinction of species. That is a whole different problem, but equally as dangerous.
Colby Loucks, the senior director for the WWF’s Wildlife Conservation Program, linked the loss of wildlife to what he called the “five horseman” of the environmental apocalypse: habitat loss, overexploitation, pollution, invasive species and climate change. The organization has documented over 3,706 species affected by those factors on both land and in ocean, as well as in freshwater habitats.
Freshwater species have been hit hardest, as we have witnessed an 81 percent decline in populations, according to the report. Even though freshwater biome hosts 1 in 10 known wildlife species, it covers slightly less than a 0.01 percent of the planet’s surface, and is being heavily exploited.
It is about time we as humans change our ways. We need to stop producing products we do not need or can’t reuse. We need to end dependency on fossil fuel energy and limit our use of wood. The environment we live in is called the ecosystem because it is a system, and like any system it needs all its components to survive.