Humans Wiped Out Two-Thirds of the World’s Wildlife in 50 Years

cigaretteman

HR King
Gold Member
May 29, 2001
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Two major reports released this month paint a grim portrait of the future for our planet’s wildlife. First, the Living Planet Report from the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), published last week, found that in half a century, human activity has decimated global wildlife populations by an average of 68 percent.



The study analyzed population sizes of 4,392 monitored species of mammals, fish, birds, reptiles, and amphibians from 1970 to 2016, reports Karin Brulliard for the Washington Post. It found that populations in Latin America and the Caribbean fared the worst, with a staggering 94 percent decline in population. All told, the drastic species decline tracked in this study “signal a fundamentally broken relationship between humans and the natural world,” the WWF notes in a release.


The WWF report singles out habitat destruction caused by humans as the main threat to the world’s biodiversity. For example, freshwater mammal, bird, amphibian and reptile populations have declined by an average of four percent each year since 1970.

“You begin to see a picture of an unraveling of nature. That is alarming—and I think alarming, even by our own measures of alarming,” WWF chief scientist Rebecca Shaw tells CNN’s Amy Woodyatt. “… [W]e’re seeing very distinct declines in freshwater ecosystems, largely because of the way we dam rivers and also because of the use of freshwater resources for producing food to feed a growing population of people worldwide.”

Then, on Tuesday, the United Nations published its Global Biodiversity Outlook report, assessing the progress—or lack thereof—of the 196 countries who signed onto the Aichi Biodiversity Targets in 2010. This ten year plan outlined ambitious goals to staunch the collapse of biodiversity across the globe. Yet according to the U.N.’s report, the world has collectively failed to reach a single one of those goals in the last decade, reports Catrin Einhorn for the New York Times.

The U.N. report did contain bright spots. For instance, experts pointed to the efficacy of human-led conservation efforts, such as a program in Pakistan that protects snow leopards and a campaign to save the Japanese crested ibis from extinction, reports Matthew Green for Reuters. Without conservation efforts, the study estimates that the numbers of bird and mammal extinctions would have been twice as high during the last decade.


The countries also partially met some of the U.N. targets, including “preventing invasive species” and “conserving protected areas,” reports Jessie Yeung for CNN.

“[T]he rate of biodiversity loss is unprecedented in human history and pressures are intensifying,” says Elizabeth Maruma Mrema, executive secretary of the Convention of Biological Diversity for the U.N., in a statement.

“Earth’s living systems as a whole are being compromised,” adds Mrema. “And the more humanity exploits nature in unsustainable ways and undermines its contributions to people, the more we undermine our own wellbeing, security and prosperity.”

Both the WWF and the U.N. cite the Covid-19 pandemic as an example of the threat posed to humans by a loss of global biodiversity. A previous U.N. report released in July found that as humans continue to disrupt ecosystems, the risk of zoonotic diseases that jump from animals to humans will increase.


Shaw tells the Post that despite the dire data, urgent action by the global community could still reverse the worst of biodiversity loss trends. In a study published in Nature last week, researchers used the WWF models to suggest ways to “bend the curve” of biodiversity decline, as Nathan Rott reports for NPR. These measures include increasing land conservation and overhauling global food production.

However, as Rott notes, the report indicates that the ever-growing population of humans has led to an “ecological imbalance,” where society requires more resources to survive than can be produced. According to their models, the researchers conclude: “The human enterprise currently demands 1.56 times more than the amount that Earth can regenerate.”


 

NDallasRuss

HR Legend
Dec 5, 2002
28,479
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All you hypocrites probably drove a gas powered car, sitting in your air conditioned house with multiple appliances, TV'S and devices using electricity while lecturing Republicans on how awful we are. GTFO with that bullshit.
I'm not a hypocrite. I did all that, and I still recognize that people are the worst thing to ever happen to this planet. I don't blame Earth for wanting to fight back and kill us.

Thanos was onto something with the whole "getting rid of half of all living creatures" plan.
 

Urohawk

HR Heisman
Sep 30, 2001
5,188
4,457
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All you hypocrites probably drove a gas powered car, sitting in your air conditioned house with multiple appliances, TV'S and devices using electricity while lecturing Republicans on how awful we are. GTFO with that bullshit.
All solvable with nuclear power, wind, and solar energy. Yet the cons worship oil (owned by terrorists enemies to our state) and coal.
 

Doodads and Hoohah

HR All-American
Oct 18, 2006
4,092
906
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Just read the book Sapiens. Sad how much homo sapiens have f'ed up the earth. Hundreds of giant mammals extinct within a thousand years of homo sapiens becoming the dominant human species. Sad!
 

Fan In Black

HR Legend
Nov 9, 2001
14,705
14,561
113
I used to live in the wild. I had a house but I burned it down after the Crows killed my squaw and mute boy. I killed Crow and skinned griz for a spell. Until humans ruined it.
 
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Hawk and Awe

HR All-American
Sep 15, 2012
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I'm not a hypocrite. I did all that, and I still recognize that people are the worst thing to ever happen to this planet. I don't blame Earth for wanting to fight back and kill us.

Thanos was onto something with the whole "getting rid of half of all living creatures" plan.
I think you have a good idea, but destroying 1/2 of the population would probably have mental health and economic consequences. Will require further analysis
 
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hawkland14

HR All-American
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Feb 26, 2013
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All solvable with nuclear power, wind, and solar energy. Yet the cons worship oil (owned by terrorists enemies to our state) and coal.
Are we sure Cons are the ones against nuclear?

 

LuteHawk

HR Legend
Nov 30, 2011
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What are the statistics for Kenya ? This is supposedly
one of the best animal preserve areas in the world.
 

Rifler

HR Legend
Jan 26, 2011
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If we really want to save the planet we have to control the human population,... are we ready to go there?
 

hawkland14

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Feb 26, 2013
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If we really want to save the planet we have to control the human population,... are we ready to go there?
Sshhh. You are ruining this outrage session with a dose of reality. Blaming Republicans makes these people feel better about themselves.