Half of world's animals have disappeared since 1970
A shocking report has found that 52 per cent of the world's animals have vanished in 40 years
telegraph.co.uk Oct 2 2014
Half of the animals in the world have disappeared since 1970 because of uncontrollable human expansion, shocking new figures have shown.
A report by the World Wildlife Fund has found that populations of mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians and fish have declined on average by 52 per cent in the last 40 years.
And for freshwater creatures the situation is even bleaker, with population collapse of more than three quarters over the same period.
Almost the entire decline is due to human activity, through habitat loss, deforestation, climate change, over-fishing and hunting.
Anyone born in 1970 or before would have lived in a world teeming with animal life compared to life today.
The report looked at 10,380 populations of 3,038 species across the globe.
The situation is worst in low-income countries, where wildlife populations have declined by 58 per cent on average between 1970 and 2010. Latin America has the biggest declines, with 83 per cent of its animals lost in 40 years.
Wildlife that are suffering extinction-level population collapse include forest elephants in Africa, which are facing habitat loss and poaching for ivory and could become extinct within our lifetime, and marine turtles which have seen an 80 per cent drop in numbers.
The report also warned that human activity is far outstripping the resources the Earth can provide, cutting down forests too quickly, overfishing and putting out more carbon dioxide than the planet can absorb, leading to climate change. It is estimated Earth would need to be 2.5 times larger to soak up the damage caused by man.
According to the study, Kuwaitis had the biggest ecological footprint, meaning they consume and waste more resources per head than any other nation, followed by Qatar and the United Arab Emirates.
"If all people on the planet had the footprint of the average resident of Qatar, we would need 4.8 planets. If we lived the lifestyle of a typical resident of the USA, we would need 3.9 planets," the report said.
Professor Ken Norris, director of science of the Zoological Society of London, which updates the species database, said: "The scale of biodiversity loss and damage to the very ecosystems that are essential to our existence is alarming.
"This damage is not inevitable, but a consequence of the way we choose to live. We need to explain to the public that what they do is directly behind the trends we are seeing. There is an enormous disconnect between going to the supermarket and putting fuel in your car and the global statistics we're talking about here.”click here for link