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Wildlife populations down nearly 60 percent, says WWF

Cara J

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The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) recently released their 10th edition of The Living Planet Report, a document that quantifies trends in global wildlife populations and other aspects of the environment. The report, which relies on data from the Zoological Society of London and other partners, revealed some concerning trends. This year’s report documented a 58 percent decline in wildlife population abundance between 1970 and 2012. The report predicts that overall population decline could increase to nearly 70 percent within the next five years. Trends were established based on the report’s Living Planet Index, which provides an index of biodiversity by gathering global vertebrate population data and documenting changes in the abundance of those populations over time. The report also identified trends within specific subsets of the global wildlife population. The greatest decline in population abundance was seen in freshwater species of fish and wildlife, which has declined 81 percent. Habitat loss and degradation are largely to blame, but disease (such as chytridiomycosis in amphibians) and overexploitation (especially of fisheries) have also played a role in population declines. Habitat loss and overexploitation are the greatest threats to populations of terrestrial wildlife, which have decreased 38 percent. The data for this group [...]


Read more: http://wildlife.org/wildlife-populations-down-nearly-60-percent-says-wwf/

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