Wildlife populations have dropped by 69% in nearly 5 decades, according to a report
The monitored wildlife populations that include amphibians, birds, mammals, reptiles, fish, and reptiles— have experienced a 69 percent drop in the period 1970-2018, according to the most recent Living Planet Report, released by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) on Thursday. The same is true for India. India isn’t any other.
According to WWF-India program director Dr. Sejal Worah, the nation has experienced a decline in the population of honeybees and the 17 freshwater turtle species over this time. Worah stated in the report that it is clear that the the Himalayan region and those in the Western Ghats are some of the most endangered regions of the country with regard to loss of biodiversiy, and that more biodiversity loss is predicted shortly, if temperatures continue to rise.
“Projects such as the latest cheetah transfer can be beneficial in preserving species. India has seen success like Project Tiger, or (projects for) the one-horned rhino, as well as the lions,” WWF India secretary-general Ravi Singh said. “There is a broad impact on other species that inhabit the habitat because of the preservation of the species.”
This biennial study, compiled by the Zoological Society of London, examines how species react to environmental pressures caused by loss of biodiversity and climate change.
The report for this year has monitored 32,000 species of 5,230 species. There are 838 species, and just over 11,000 additional populations have been added. There’s been an impressive rise in species of fish (481) which are included in Living Planet Report. Living Planet Report.
The report stated that there has been “an average decline of 69% in the monitored wildlife population over the period of 48 years” from 1970 to 2018. The report said: “Latin America and the Caribbean regions have experienced the most drastic decline in the monitored wildlife populations across the globe and an average decline of 94% from 1970 and the year 2018. The same time monitoring populations in Africa declined by 66%, whereas Asia Pacific’s populations monitored by the CITES fell by 55%..”
The WWF has discovered the freshwater population has decreased the most, with an average of 83% decrease between 1970 and the year 2018. According to the IUCN Red List shows cycads — an ancient class of seeds plants are among the species most at risk as corals decline most rapidly followed by amphibians.
The report said: “Around the world…the main causes of declining wildlife populations are habitat loss and degradation and exploitation, as well as the spread to invasive species polluting as well as climate change and diseases. Changes in land use are the most significant threat currently to the natural world, degrading or even destroying ecosystems that are home to a variety of species of animals and plants on land, in freshwater , and in the ocean. But if we’re not able to limit warming to 1.5degC and above, climate change will become the main cause of biodiversity loss over the next few decades.”
“Rising temperatures have already been leading to mass deaths and also the first death of a whole species. Each degree of warming likely to cause more losses and their impact on the human population according to the report.
Around 50% of the warm-water corals gone extinct and a warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius could result in a loss of 70 to 90% warm corals in the water. There is a Bramble Cay melomys, which is a tiny Australian rodent was declared extinct following the rise in sea levels.
Despite their significance, mangroves continue be destroyed through aquaculture, agriculture and coastal development at an average of 0.13 percent annually as the report stated. The report stated that many mangroves are being destroyed by pollution and over-exploitation, as well as natural stressors like coastal erosion and storms.
“Mangrove loss is the loss of habitats for biodiversity and depletion of ecosystem service to coastal communities. In certain areas, it could mean the loss of areas where coastal communities reside. For instance, 137km in Mangrove forest in Sundarbans mangrove forest has been lost since 1985, which has reduced the land area and ecosystem services to most from the 10 million living in the area according to the report noted.
Although overall mangrove loss is decreasing, this study reveals that there remain Mangrove loss hotspots, especially in Myanmar.
The report found that only 37% the rivers that are greater than 1,000 km in length remain free-flowing or in their original condition, including rivers in India that are generally not flowing freely. The report said that this is threatening the movement of the fish.
The Living Planet Report has found that agriculture is the biggest danger to amphibians (animals who live on land as well as in water) while trapping and hunting are the most likely to endanger mammals and birds.
In terms of geography, Southeast Asia is the area where species are most vulnerable to threats in a significant way as well as the Polar regions and the eastern coasts in Australia as well as South Africa showed the highest probability of impact from climate change, triggered specifically by impacts on birds.
The worldwide abundance of 18 out of 31 oceanic sharks has declined by 71% in the past 50 years, and the report also stated that by the year 2020, nearly three-quarters sharks and rays would be at risk of the extinction.