The number of animals around the world have been reduced by more than half according to a new report on the health of the Earth. This is yet another indication of how humans adversely impact our planet. The new report shows how the population sizes of vertebrate species—mammals, (birds, reptiles, amphibians, and fish) have diminished by 52 percent over the last forty years.
This is the finding in the The Living Planet Report which documents the state of the planet—including biodiversity, ecosystems, and demand on natural resources—and what this means for humans and wildlife.
The Living Planet Report is a comprehensive review of the health of the earth published every two years by the WWF an organization that works on finding solutions to the environmental problems we face.
WWF works with governments, businesses, and communities to reduce carbon emissions, prevent habitat loss, and advance policies to fight climate change. WWF focuses on protecting wildlife, conserving natural capital—from forests and oceans to freshwater and grasslands—and producing and consuming food more wisely.
At least part of this decline can be attributed to the demands we place on nature. In effect we need one and half Earths to accommodate human demands. Some of the other findings in this report show that we are unsustainably harvesting trees and fish while pumping more carbon into the atmosphere than can be absorbed by the oceans and the forests.
Trees are an important carbon sink and the fact that we are cutting them down at a rate faster than they can regenerate further exacerbates the impact of our growing carbon emissions.
The report is yet another reminder that we need to change course if we are to manage the environmental and climate crisis we created.
To access the full Living Planet report click here (PDF).