Ocean Mist

Issues and trends shaping our environment, health and economy

22 Oct 2022

Vanishing wildlife

Posted by Michael Keating

The world is failing to deal with a series of environmental crises that are making our lives poorer and more difficult. Climate change is the one that jumps to mind these days but we should also worry about the destruction of nature that provides us with essential ecological services. The Living Planet Report published by the World Wide Fund for Nature [WWF] with data from the Zoological Society of London said that over the past half-century the abundance of wildlife in our world has dropped by nearly 70 percent. The greatest declines are in species-rich Latin America and Africa where great forests are being levelled for timber and farmland clearing. Climate change is becoming an increasing threat to biodiversity with increased heat already causing mass kills of marine life.

Fifty years of change
Credit: World Wide Fund for Nature
and London Zoological Society

The WWF says the index includes data on almost 32,000 monitored populations across 5,230 species in 195 countries across all continents. “Our research gives us a clear message: we’re chipping away at the very foundations of life on Earth, the foundations of the life that we rely upon,” according to Robin Freeman of the Zoological Society of London, one of the report’s authors. Many scientists say we are creating a mass extinction, the largest since a huge asteroid impact wiped out much of life on this planet and ended the reign of the dinosaurs.

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