Man is revealed as the world’s fiercest predator in a new study by the World Wildlife Fund.
Nature is fighting for survival against an onslaught by man on all fronts.
Mammals, birds, fish and reptiles on land and sea have declined in numbers by 60% in just over 40 years as man has exploited their habitats.
Human consumption is reducing their numbers faster than they can repopulate, while agriculture feeding the world is destroying their homes and environments.
“This report is a warning shot. Natural systems essential to our survival – forests, oceans, and rivers – remain in decline. Wildlife around the world continue to dwindle,” said Carter Roberts, President and CEO of WWF-US. “It reminds us we need to change course. It’s time to balance our consumption with the needs of nature, and to protect the only planet that is our home.”
Man is nature’s main threat
WWF scientists warn that not only is our planet at an environmental crossroads brought on by humans, but nature also needs protecting from us or biodiversity will be lost forever, according to the Living Planet Report 2018.
The main threats to other species identified in the report are directly linked to human activities, including habitat loss and overexploitation of wildlife.
“From rivers and rainforests, to mangroves and mountainsides, across the planet our work shows that wildlife abundance has declined dramatically since 1970. The statistics are scary, but all hope is not lost,” said Prof. Ken Norris, Director of Science at the Zoological Society of London, which compiled the report.
Chance to reverse the trend
“We have an opportunity to design a new path forward that allows us to co-exist sustainably with the wildlife we depend upon. Our report sets out an ambitious agenda for change. We are going to need your help to achieve it.”
Norris explained that over recent decades, human activity has impacted the habitats and natural resources wildlife and humanity depend on, such as oceans, forests, coral reefs, wetlands and mangroves. The Earth is estimated to have lost about half of its shallow water corals in the past 30 years and 20% of the Amazon has disappeared in 50 years.
“The WWF is calling on everyone to mobilise and deliver a comprehensive framework agreement for nature and people. This can galvanize public and private action to protect and restore global biodiversity and nature and bend the curve on the devastating trends,” said Norris.