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A third of wildlife has vanished: Study

Last Updated: Wednesday, May 16, 2012 - 19:30

London: The world`s wildlife has fallen by almost a third over the past 40 years, according to a new landmark research.

According to the research, in some parts the figure is much higher. Losses are estimated at more than 50 percent in the tropics, while in tropical freshwater ecosystems specifically, average losses may be as high as 70 percent, according to the 2012 edition of the Living Planet Report, produced by the WWF.

The study lead by Michael McCarthy indicated typical high declines in the number of wild tiger, which has suffered a 70 percent decline in the size of populations, and ‘Baiji’, the freshwater dolphin from China`s Yangtze river, which appears to have become extinct in recent years, a newspaper reported.

However, in northern areas such as Europe and North America, wildlife populations are doing much better, indicating towards the amount of conservation that wealthy societies are able to afford.

"We`re now in the danger zone, exceeding the planetary boundaries for natural capital," said David Nussbaum, chief executive of WWF-UK.

"If we continue to use up our planet`s resources faster than it can replace them, soon we`ll have exploited every available corner of the

Earth. Thankfully it`s not too late to reverse this trend, but we need to address this with the same urgency and determination that we tackled the systemic financial crisis globally," he said.

"This report is like a planetary check-up and the results indicate we have a very sick planet. Ignoring this diagnosis will have major implications for humanity. We can restore the planet`s health, but only through addressing population growth and over-consumption of resources." said Jonathan Baillie, conservation programme director with the Zoological Society of London.

The report has been released early so that the agenda for ‘Rio Plus 20’ can bet set.

‘Rio Plus 20’ is the UN conference on sustainable development to be held in Rio de Janeiro next month.


First Published: Wednesday, May 16, 2012 - 19:30

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