The world’s animal population has been cut in half in only 40 years as unsustainable demands have been put on the Earth.
According to the World Wide Fund for Nature’s Living Planet Index, released Tuesday, there has been a dramatic decline in the world’s animal species. With the demands that humans have put on the Earth, there would need to be one and a half earths to meet them.
The index is released every two years and centers research around the World Wide Fund’s database of 3,000 animal species. This year’s report is the most shocking and the trend that it found could cost the world billions in economic losses.
Here are a few facts from the report:
– Due to people killing too many animals for food and destroying their habitats, there has been a 52% decline in wildlife between 1970 and 2010.
– The worst decline has been of animals living in rivers, lakes and wetlands. The report shows that 76% of freshwater wildlife disappeared in only 40 years.
– Marine species and animals living on land had a 39% decline in their populations.
– Animals that live in tropics have suffered from a 63% decline.
– Central and South America shows the most dramatic regional decline, with a drop of 83%.
“We are eating into our natural capital, making it more difficult to sustain the needs of future generations,” the report said.
The report also warned that though the animals are suffering now, the long-term impact will be on people. The threat to oceans could create economic losses over $400 billion by 2050.