Wildlife populations face a dire future, as around 67 percent of them are expected to drop off by 2020. Since 1970, the world has already lost 58 percent of all wildlife populations despite the efforts of environmental conservationists and other organizations.
WWF International has recently issued a warning that Earth can lose almost 70 percent of wildlife populations by 2020. This report was made thanks to the joint efforts of WWF International, the Global Footprint Network, and the Zoological Society of London.
Because human excess had such massive impact on many species, scientists decided to name this geological epoch the Anthropocene. According to Marco Lambertini, WWF International general director, biologists predicted this outcome a few decades ago.
Also, current statistics point to the fact that they were right. Executive director Johan Rockström of the Stockholm Resilience Center says that over the past 42 years, freshwater species have suffered the worst decline of a staggering 81 percent, whereas marine life took a hit consisting of a 36 percent drop.
Last but not least, a 38 percent drop-off was recorded among all monitored terrestrial populations. Due to these numbers, biologists regard this situation as the next mass extinction worldwide event, but this time humans are responsible for destroying the planet’s life support mechanism.
There are a wide variety of primary factors influencing the constant decline of wildlife populations such as the loss and degradations of these species’ habitat; temperature changes caused by pollution; introduction of pathogens and invasive species; massive air and water pollution which took its toll on reproductive capability and food availability; poaching and hunting; and harvesting excess which led to mass killing.
By revealing these statistics and causes, scientists hope that people will understand that in order to develop and sustain a productive and diverse natural environment, many efforts must be made. Such a massive loss will lead to an irreversible imbalance which will have a huge impact on human as well.
Experts collected this information by analyzing 14,152 wildlife populations of 3,706 vertebrate species. However, officials underline that there is still hope as more and more countries are developing various projects aiming to protect and preserve the environment and to provide a sustainable future for the next generations.
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