Global populations of animals have already declined by 58 per cent between 1970 and 2012, the report stated.

Global wildlife population may fall 67 by 2020 says World Wildlife FundImage for representation
news Environment Thursday, October 27, 2016 - 14:20

The global wildlife population could fall by an average of 67 per cent between 1970 and 2020 as a result of human activities, according to World Wildlife Fund's (WWF) Living Planet Report 2016.

The report indicated that the global populations of fish, birds, mammals, amphibians and reptiles have already declined by 58 per cent between 1970 and 2012.

"This places the world on a trajectory of a potential two-thirds decline within a span of the half-century ending in 2020," said the report.

The report also highlights the magnitude of human impact on the planet and highlights the changes needed in the way society is fed and fuelled. 

According to the report, the top threats to species were directly linked to human activities including habitat loss, degradation and over exploitation of wildlife. 

The report's findings provide additional evidence that the planet was entering completely unchartered territory, including a possible sixth mass extinction. 

Dubbing it the 'most comprehensive' survey of wildlife ever carried out, The Independent reported:

The current rate of extinction is about 100 times faster than is considered normal – greater than during some of the previous five mass extinctions in the Earth’s history. While the dinosaurs probably died out because a giant meteor hit the planet, just one species is the cause of the current problems: humans.

Speaking to BBC, Dr Mike Barrett, head of science and policy at WWF said, "It's pretty clear under 'business as usual' we will see continued declines in these wildlife populations. But I think now we've reached a point where there isn't really any excuse to let this carry on. We know what the causes are and we know the scale of the impact that humans are having on nature and on wildlife populations - it really is now down to us to act."

"Researchers are already calling this period the Anthropocene -- an era in which human activities are influencing changes in the climate and the environment," the WWF report said.

 

Inputs IANS.

Show us some love and support our journalism by becoming a TNM Member - Click here.