Study Says Humans Have Wiped Out 70% of Animal Population

Elephant in Animal Population

According to a recent study, there has been a significant loss in the animal population caused by humans during the past 50 years.

Wildlife animal populations have decreased by an average of 69 percent between 1970 and 2018, according to the WWF and Zoological Society of London (ZSL) Living Planet Report, which is released every two years. The percentage was 68% two years ago. It was 60% four years ago.

The entire loss, according to the analysis, would be the same as wiping out the populations of Europe, the Americas, Africa, Oceania, and China.

“The staggering rate of decline is a severe warning that the rich biodiversity that sustains all life on our planet is in crisis, putting every species at risk – including us,” the report states. 

The latest report on trends in biodiversity and the state of our planet is the most thorough to date.

The COP15 biodiversity summit, which will be held in Canada in December, is where the authors are pleading with world leaders to come to an ambitious accord.

“The climate and nature crisis is not only an environmental issue but an economic, development, security, social, moral and ethical issue too… Our world’s most vulnerable people, places, and wildlife – and those least responsible for the climate and nature crisis – are at greatest risk, and already suffering,” the report says.

The report’s findings

According to the report, the Amazon and the Caribbean have both experienced the greatest declines. In these locations, wildlife populations have declined 94 percent on average over the past 48 years.

Mark Wright, Director of Science at WWF, spoke to Plant Based News (PBN) on the deforestation caused by agriculture when discussing the losses in the Amazon. We are aware that the Amazon is essential to the fight against climate change; if we lose the Amazon, the fight against climate change will also fail.

“The most important decisions about the future of the Amazon will be made by the Brazilian government but it’s important that other countries, including the UK, ensure that all products, whether food or gold, linked to deforestation are removed from product supply chains.” 

The report also revealed that North America has lost 20%, Asia and the Pacific has lost 55%, and Africa has lost 66%. Both Central Asia and Europe had 18% losses.

Causes of the decline in biodiversity

According to the report, the primary cause of biodiversity loss is land use change.

Mike Barrett, executive director of science and conservation at WWF-UK told the Guardian, “at a global level, primarily the declines we are seeing are driven by the loss and fragmentation of habitat driven by the global agricultural system and its expansion into intact habitat converting it to produce food.”

Agriculture was previously named as a “primary driver” of biodiversity loss in a UN report from 2021. To address the issue, it was said that the globe needed to transition to a “plant-heavy” diet.

Additionally, it has been estimated that animal agriculture is to blame for 91 percent of the deforestation in the Amazon. This is because raising livestock, especially cattle, requires a significant quantity of land.

The UN research concluded that we must “avoid converting land for agriculture” if we want to maintain biodiversity.

“Human dietary shifts are essential in order to preserve existing native ecosystems and restore those that have been removed or degraded,” the report added.

Source: “Humans Have Wiped Out 70% Of Animal Populations Since 1970, Study Finds” by Plant Based News

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