Monitored Wildlife Populations
Representational Image | Courtesy: Scott Walsh, Unsplash

WWF's Living Planet Report Reveals 69% Drop In Monitored Wildlife Populations

The research says habitat degradation and loss, exploitation, invasive species, pollution, climate change, and disease are the leading causes of worldwide wildlife population reduction

October 16, 2022

WWF's Living Planet Report (LPR) 2022, revealed that there has been a 69% decline in monitored wildlife populations- mammals, birds, amphibians, reptiles and fish- since 1970. The report warns governments, corporations, and the public to take drastic measures to reverse biodiversity loss.

The dataset featured almost 32,000 populations of 5,230 species.

The Living Planet Index (LPI), prepared by the Zoological Society of London (ZSL ), reveals that tropical vertebrate wildlife populations are declining at an alarming rate.

Given that these geographical areas are among the most biodiverse in the world, the WWF is particularly concerned about this trend.

According to the LPI data, the monitored wildlife populations in Latin America and the Caribbean regions declined by 94% on average between 1970 and 2018.

The highest decline of any species group is 83% in monitored freshwater populations in a lifetime. Habitat loss and migration impediments threaten half of the observed migratory fish species.

"We face the combined emergencies of human-induced climate change and biodiversity loss, affecting the well-being of present and future generations," reported wwf.panda.org quoting WWF International Director General Marco Lambertini.

"WWF is extremely worried by this new data showing a devastating fall in wildlife populations, in particular in tropical regions that are home to some of the most biodiverse landscapes in the world," Lambertini further added.

The 15th Conference of Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD COP15) in December will give world leaders a once-in-a-decade chance to change direction for people and the planet.

WWF wants leaders to sign a "Paris-style" commitment to reverse biodiversity loss and create a nature-positive society by 2030.

"At the COP15 biodiversity meeting this December, leaders have an opportunity to reset our broken relationship with the natural world and create a healthier, more sustainable future for all with an ambitious nature-positive global biodiversity agreement," Lambertini further said.

"In the face of our rising environmental catastrophe, it's crucial this agreement takes rapid action on the ground, including transforming sectors driving natural loss and financial support to the developing nations," the WWF International Director General further said.

The LPI captured populations of the Amazon pink river dolphin, which declined by 65% between 1994 and 2016 in the Mamirauá Sustainable Development Reserve in Amazonas, Brazil; the eastern lowland gorilla, which declined by an estimated 80% in DRC's Kahuzi-Biega National Park between 1994 and 2019; and the Australian sea lion, which declined by 64% between 1977 and 2019.

"The Living Planet Index demonstrates how we have stripped away the very foundation of life and the situation continues to worsen. Half of the global economy and billions of people are directly reliant on nature. Preventing further biodiversity loss and restoring vital ecosystems has to be at the top of global agendas to tackle the mounting climate, environmental and public health crises," stated ZSL Director of Conservation and Policy Dr Andrew Terry.

The research says habitat degradation and loss, exploitation, invasive species, pollution, climate change, and disease are the leading causes of worldwide wildlife population reduction. These factors contributed to Africa's 66% animal population decline and Asia Pacific's 55%.

ALSO READ India Seventh Most Affected By Climate Change

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