Global wildlife populations are plummeting, report finds

This aerial view shows the effects of deforestation and fire in the Amazon Rainforest. Credit: Andre Dib / WWF-Brazil

Wildlife populations around the world have plummeted in the last 50 years, according to a report from the environmental organization WWF International. Looking at over 5,000 species, the group’s Living Planet Report found that numbers have fallen 69%, and the losses are accelerating. In some biodiversity-rich regions, including Latin America and the Caribbean, populations have fallen as much as 94%. The report found that habitat degradation, invasive species, climate change and disease were the main drivers of wildlife loss. The report comes in advance of the COP15 biodiversity summit in Montreal in December. Authors called for an international commitment to protect nature along the lines of the 2015 Paris Agreement on climate change.

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