Wildlife Populations Have Declined By 50 Percent In Last 30 Years Thanks To Humans
In just 40 years, the world’s wild animal population has declined by 52 percent.
The 2014 Living Planet Index (LPI), released by the World Wildlife Foundation (WWF), indicates that humans are to blame for the species’ steady march toward extinction.
The LPI cites exploitation through hunting and habitat loss and change as the main causes of the decline. Humans are dramatically reducing the populations of both marine and land-based creatures.
While most of the steep losses occurred during the 1970s and 1980s, they continue today.
According to the report, it’s the tropics that suffer the hardest. Exotic locations are often turned into popular vacation and tourist areas, not kept as natural reserves. The LPI reports that some of the largest losses are sea turtles, rare migratory birds and sharks.
Marco Lambertini, director general of the WWF, says that the only way to help wildlife is by changing the way we view and use the land and water.
Sitting on the bench waiting for someone else to make the first move doesn’t work. Heads of state need to start thinking globally; businesses and consumers need to stop behaving as if we live in a limitless world.
Lambertini says that the speed at which we use resources and hunt animals is changing the face of the planet. Fish and animals are eaten faster than they can reproduce, dramatically reducing their numbers. At the same time, agriculture, tourism and residential areas destroy natural habitats.
Now is the time to act. The WWF recommends supporting political and community leaders who want to act for environmental change, as well as spending money on ethically produced products.
It’s the littlest changes that make a difference in the long run.
H/T: Huffington Post, Photo Credit: Getty Images