Wildlife population declined by 68 per cent since 1970: WWF

Updated: 13 September, 2020 07:40 IST | Agencies | Sydney

This has contributed to environmental degradation, leading to the emergence of zoonotic diseases such as COVID-19, according to WWF's Living Planet Report, 2020

A koala being treated for burns at a field hospital at the Kangaroo Island Wildlife Park. Pic/aFP
A koala being treated for burns at a field hospital at the Kangaroo Island Wildlife Park. Pic/aFP

Global populations of mammals, birds, amphibians, reptiles and fish have suffered an average two-thirds' decline in less than half a century. This has contributed to environmental degradation, leading to the emergence of zoonotic diseases such as COVID-19, according to WWF's Living Planet Report, 2020.

The Living Planet Index (LPI) shows that the factors believed to increase the planet's vulnerability to pandemics, including land-use change and the use and trade of wildlife, were also some of the drivers behind the 68 per cent average decline in global vertebrate species population between 1970 and 2016.

"The Living Planet Report, 2020 underlines how humanity's increasing destruction of nature is having catastrophic impact not only on wildlife populations, but also on human health and all aspects of our lives," said Marco Lambertini, Director General, WWF International. "Our planet is flashing red-warning signs of system failure," he added.

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First Published: 13 September, 2020 07:30 IST

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