• Same story, different day...........year ie more of the same fiat floods the world
  • There are no markets
  • "Spreading the ideas of freedom loving people on matters regarding high finance, politics, constructionist Constitution, and mental masturbation of all types"

WWF: Two-thirds of the world's animals could be gone by 2020


Founding Member
Board Elder
Site Mgr
Sr Site Supporter
Mar 25, 2010
WWF: Two-thirds of the world's animals could be gone by 2020
Stu Robarts

By 2020, global wildlife populations could drop by as much as two-thirds as a result of human activity, according to a new report from the World Wildlife Fund (WWF). Indeed, the report suggests the period in which humans have been the dominant species on Earth could be viewed as the world's sixth mass-extinction event.

The Living Planet Report is a biennial publication that details the state of the planet and its implications for humans and wildlife. This year's report states that the number of vertebrates in the world fell by well over half between 1970 and 2012 and that, without intervention, the decline will continue, leading to up to 67 percent of all animals being gone by 2020.

In order to make its assessments, the WWF uses what it calls the Global Living Planet Index (LPI). This tracks the abundance of 14,152 monitored populations of 3,706 vertebrate species.

The report states that, overall, the Global LPI shows a "persistent downward trend." Populations are most threatened by habitat loss and degradation, with other threats including the over-exploitation of certain species, pollution, invasive species, disease and climate change.

The Global LPI is split into three sub-datasets. The Terrestrial LPI monitors populations in habitats like forests, savannahs and deserts and manmade environments like cities or agricultural fields; the Freshwater LPI monitors those in habitats like lakes, rivers and wetlands and the Marine LPI monitors those in habitats like oceans and seas.

The most damaging aspects of human behavior are said to be our increasing needs for food and energy. These are the biggest contributors to habitat loss and degradation for animals, with agriculture now covering a third of Earth's total land area and accounting for 70 percent of all freshwater use.

One example from the report includes over-exploitation in the form of poaching that's been partly to blame for a 66 percent decline in the elephant population in the Selous-Mikumi region of Tanzania between 2009 and 2014. Globally, the report says that 31 percent of fish stocks are being overfished with a third of shark, ray and skate species threatened with extinction because of the practice. Climate change, meanwhile, is resulting in the behavior of animals changing as unseasonal temperatures trigger things like migration and reproduction at the wrong times.

Such has been the impact of humans that extinction events that previously took place over hundreds of thousands to millions of years are now taking place over much shorter periods and our levels of consumption mean that, at present, we need 1.6 Earths to provide the goods and services we use each year at a sustainable level. Some scientists have said that this rapid change to the planet deserves to be named as a new epoch in the evolution of the planet: the Anthropocene.

"This is the first time a new geological epoch may be marked by what a single species (homo sapiens) has consciously done to the planet – as opposed to what the planet has imposed on resident species," said the report.

These facts make plain, says the WWF, that we must "rethink how we produce, consume, measure success and value the natural environment."

On that front, there is some tempered cause for optimism, it says. It notes positive momentum building in the way of "recent global agreements on climate change and sustainable development." In addition, global CO2 emissions have stabilized and may have peaked, while China's coal burning may also have peaked.

Changes must be made in our food and energy systems, though, for us to "transition" to a resilient planet. The WWF says sustainable renewable energy sources must be rapidly developed, with demand moved towards toward renewables; less animal protein consumption in high-income countries must be encouraged; waste along the food chain must be minimized; and agricultural productivity must be optimized.

"This research delivers a wake-up call that for decades we've treated our planet as if it's disposable," says WWF president and CEO Carter Roberts in a press release. "We created this problem. The good news is that we can fix it. It requires updating our approach to food, energy, transportation, and how we live our lives. We share the same planet. We rely on it for our survival. So we are all responsible for its protection."

The video below provides an insight into the Living Planet Report 2016 and you can download the entire report here (PDF).

Stu is a tech writer based in Liverpool, UK. He has previously worked on global digital estate management at Amaze and headed up digital strategy for FACT (Foundation for Art and Creative Technology). He likes cups of tea, bacon sandwiches and RSS feeds.

For 50 years, WWF has been protecting the future of nature.

The world’s leading conservation organization, WWF works in 100 countries and is supported by more than one million members in the United States and close to five million globally. WWF's unique way of working combines global reach with a foundation in science, involves action at every level from local to global, and ensures the delivery of innovative solutions that meet the needs of both people and nature.




Gold Member
Gold Chaser
Site Supporter
Mar 31, 2010
Oak Harbor, Ohio
I think I've been hearing something like that for 40 years, just the date changes.


Midas Member
Midas Member
Mar 31, 2010
Personally I think it's the stupid cat owners.

They have this incredible amount of cats and they kill all the small ground feeding birds, snakes and reptiles that are prey for the natural predators.

We end up with crows, raccoons and rats an squirrels instead of song birds and other beneficial animals.