Wildlife numbers halved over past four decades: WWF

A survey of over 3,000 species has found that animal numbers have plunged by more than half in just 40 years as Earth`s human population has nearly doubled, conservationists said Tuesday.

AFP| Updated: Sep 30, 2014, 04:11 AM IST

Paris: A survey of over 3,000 species has found that animal numbers have plunged by more than half in just 40 years as Earth`s human population has nearly doubled, conservationists said Tuesday.

From 1970 to 2010, there was a 39-percent drop in numbers across a representative sample of land- and sea-dwelling species, while freshwater populations dropped 76 percent, the green group WWF said in its 2014 Living Planet Report.

All told, "the number of mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians and fish across the globe is, on average, about half the size it was 40 years ago," it said.

The 52-percent decrease confirms mankind is chomping through nature`s bounty much faster than the rate of replenishment, WWF warned.

The last Living Planet Report, in 2012, found a 28-percent drop in numbers from 1970-2008, but this was based on only 2,688 species monitored.