Population of more than 4,000 species found to have fallen since 1970
90% of seabirds now have plastics in their stomachs
"Global deal" similar to Paris climate agreement is needed, WWF says
Global wildlife populations have fallen by 60% in just over four decades, as accelerating pollution, deforestation, climate change and other manmade factors have created a “mindblowing” crisis, the World Wildlife Fund has warned in a damning new report.
The total numbers of more than 4,000 mammal, bird, fish, reptile and amphibian species declined rapidly between 1970 and 2014, the Living Planet Report 2018 says.
Current rates of species extinction are now up to 1,000 times higher than before human involvement in animal ecosystems became a factor.
The proportion of the planet’s land that is free from human impact is projected to drop from a quarter to a tenth by 2050, as habitat removal, hunting, pollution, disease and climate change continue to spread, the organization added.
The group has called for an international treaty, modeled on the Paris climate agreement, to be drafted to protect wildlife and reverse human impacts on nature.
It warned that current efforts to protect the natural world are not keeping up with the speed of manmade destruction.