In almost 45 years, humanity has wiped out 60% of global wildlife populations, according to a newly released Living Planet Report from the World Wildlife Fund, the animal rights and conservation organization.
More species referenced in the report as those whose populations are in decline include black and white rhinos, polar bears, African grey parrots, hedgehogs, whale sharks, Bornean orangutans, puffins and the wandering albatross. Living Planet Report 2018 is the twelfth edition of WWF's biennial flagship publication. "Natural systems essential to our survival - forests, oceans, and rivers - remain in decline", he said.
"Exploding human consumption" has caused a massive drop in global wildlife populations in recent decades, the WWF conservation group says.
Mangroves, for example, trap nearly five times more carbon than tropical forests; crops partially pollinated by animals account for 35 per cent of the world's food production; and coral reefs protect around 200 million people against storm surges, according to the report. "It reminds us we need to change course".
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It's bad enough that humans are killing ourselves, but by bulldozing forests, choking oceans, and poisoning air, we're also killing the plants, animals, and ecosystems that help sustain us.
This year's report cited population increases of pandas, dolphins, and gorillas as positive signs of environmental work in action, and credited legal frameworks like the US Endangered Species Act with helping listed species avoid extinction.
Over-exploitation of species, deforestation and agricultural use have destroyed key animal habitats around the planet from 1970 to 2014.
However, functions such as these "have been taken for granted until now by not acting against the accelerated loss of nature", lamented Lambertini.
With the world set to review progress on sustainable development and conserving biodiversity under United Nations agreements by 2020, there is a chance for action in the next two years, WWF argues.
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The population of the planet's vertebrates has dropped an average of 60 percent since 1970, according to a report by the conservation organization WWF.
"The statistics are scary, but all hope is not lost", Professor Ken Norris of the Zoological Society of London added. Pollination increases the global value of crop production by $237-$577 billion per year to growers alone; more than 75 per cent of leading global food crops depend on pollinators.
The authors are setting their sights on 2020, when leaders are expected to review progress made in worldwide treaties like the Paris Agreement and the Convention on Biological Diversity.
The report states that as our reliance on natural reserves continues to grow, it's clear that nature is not just a "nice thing to have".
To map soil biodiversity, a risk index was generated combining eight components including pollution, loss of above ground diversity, nutrients overloading, overgrazing, intensive agriculture, fire, soil erosion to do the same.
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