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Global wildlife population could decline by 67% between 1970-2020

By Staff Reporter

GUWAHATI, Nov 3 - Global wildlife population could decline by an average of 67 per cent between 1970 - 2020, as a result of human activities. There is also evidence that planet Earth is entering completely unchartered territory in its history, in which, humanity is shaping changes in the planet, including a possible sixth mass extinction.

With these grim findings, WWF�s Living Planet Report 2016 indicates that global population of fish, birds, mammals, amphibians and reptiles have already declined by 58 per cent between 1970 and 2012, the most recent year with available data. This places the world on a trajectory of a potential two-thirds decline within a span of the half-century ending in 2020.

The report also highlights the magnitude of human impact on the planet and highlights the changes needed in the way society is fed and fuelled.

�Wildlife is disappearing within our lifetimes at an unprecedented rate,� said Dr Marco Lambertini, International Director General, WWF.

�This is not just about the wonderful species we all love; biodiversity forms the foundation of healthy forests, rivers and oceans. Take away species, and these ecosystems will collapse along with the clean air, water, food and climate services that they provide us. We have the tools to fix this problem and we need to start using them now if we are serious about preserving a living planet for our own survival and prosperity,� he added.

According to the report, the top threats to species are directly linked to human activities, including habitat loss, degradation and over exploitation of wildlife. Researchers are already calling this period � when the planet is entering the phase of a possible sixth mass extinction � the Anthropocene, an era in which human activities are influencing changes in the climate and the environment.

The 2016 edition of the �Living Planet Report� states that food production to meet the complex demands of an expanding human population is the primary factor responsible for the destruction of habitats and over-exploitation of wildlife. At present, agriculture occupies about one-third of Earth�s total land area and accounts for almost 70 per cent of water use.

The report also shows that India ranks fifth in terms of bio-capacity � an ecosystem�s capacity to produce resources such as food, fibre and renewable raw materials and absorb carbon dioxide. While Indians have a low personal footprint at an individual level, it is a challenge when aggregated by population size.

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Global wildlife population could decline by 67% between 1970-2020

GUWAHATI, Nov 3 - Global wildlife population could decline by an average of 67 per cent between 1970 - 2020, as a result of human activities. There is also evidence that planet Earth is entering completely unchartered territory in its history, in which, humanity is shaping changes in the planet, including a possible sixth mass extinction.

With these grim findings, WWF�s Living Planet Report 2016 indicates that global population of fish, birds, mammals, amphibians and reptiles have already declined by 58 per cent between 1970 and 2012, the most recent year with available data. This places the world on a trajectory of a potential two-thirds decline within a span of the half-century ending in 2020.

The report also highlights the magnitude of human impact on the planet and highlights the changes needed in the way society is fed and fuelled.

�Wildlife is disappearing within our lifetimes at an unprecedented rate,� said Dr Marco Lambertini, International Director General, WWF.

�This is not just about the wonderful species we all love; biodiversity forms the foundation of healthy forests, rivers and oceans. Take away species, and these ecosystems will collapse along with the clean air, water, food and climate services that they provide us. We have the tools to fix this problem and we need to start using them now if we are serious about preserving a living planet for our own survival and prosperity,� he added.

According to the report, the top threats to species are directly linked to human activities, including habitat loss, degradation and over exploitation of wildlife. Researchers are already calling this period � when the planet is entering the phase of a possible sixth mass extinction � the Anthropocene, an era in which human activities are influencing changes in the climate and the environment.

The 2016 edition of the �Living Planet Report� states that food production to meet the complex demands of an expanding human population is the primary factor responsible for the destruction of habitats and over-exploitation of wildlife. At present, agriculture occupies about one-third of Earth�s total land area and accounts for almost 70 per cent of water use.

The report also shows that India ranks fifth in terms of bio-capacity � an ecosystem�s capacity to produce resources such as food, fibre and renewable raw materials and absorb carbon dioxide. While Indians have a low personal footprint at an individual level, it is a challenge when aggregated by population size.