The South China tiger is considered "functionally extinct,"
as it has not been sighted in the wild for more than
The World Wide Fund for Nature's Living Planet Index, released Tuesday, revealed the dramatic decline in animal species, and said the trend could cost the world billions in economic losses.
|The population of Yangtze finless porpoises is declining rapidly. The freshwater dolphins are suffering due to pollution and hunting.|
The fund notes that it's relying on a never-before-used methodology in this year's report, "which aims to be more representative of global biodiversity."
The index showed shows a 52% decline in wildlife between 1970 and 2010, far more than earlier estimates of 30%. It is due to people killing too many animals for food and destroying their habitats.
"We are eating into our natural capital, making it more difficult to sustain the needs of future generations," the report said.
Researchers from the Zoological Society of London looked at changes in populations of more than 3,000 species of mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians and fish, tracking over 10,000 different populations.
The decline in animals living in rivers, lakes and wetlands is the worst -- 76% of freshwater wildlife disappeared in just 40 years. Marine species and animals living on land suffered 39% decline in their populations.
Animals living in tropics are the worst hit by what WWF calls "the biggest recorded threats to our planet's wildlife" as 63% of wildlife living in tropics has vanished. Central and South America shows the most dramatic regional decline, with a fall of 83%.
And while the animals are suffering now, the long-term impact will be on people, the report said.
Marco Lambertini, director general of WWF International, said "protecting nature is not a luxury....it is quite the opposite. For many of the world's poorest people, it is a lifeline."
According to Lambertini, the threat to oceans could create economic losses of up to $428 billion by 2050. The global fishing sector employs more than 660 million people, and fish provide more than 15% of protein in people's diet.
Global food security is under threat as the demands of growing population drain the resources. Forests provide water, fuel and food for more than billion people, including 350 million of the world's poorest people.
FELLOW HUMANS: This is dire! A recommendation:
FOR ONE DAY (per week, per month?), each individual, each company can STOP!
STOP POLLUTING, POACHING, PRODUCING, CONSUMING (PPPC) if we care. If we don't...
WWF Species Directory
|Bigeye Tuna||Thunnus obesus||Vulnerable|
|Great White Shark||Carcharodon carcharias||Vulnerable|
|Greater One-Horned Rhino||Rhinoceros unicornis||Vulnerable|
|Irrawaddy Dolphin||Orcaella brevirostris||Vulnerable|
|Marine Iguana||Amblyrhynchus cristatus||Vulnerable|
|Olive Ridley Turtle||Lepidochelys olivacea||Vulnerable|
|Polar Bear||Ursus maritimus||Vulnerable|
|Red Panda||Ailurus fulgens||Vulnerable|
|Savanna Elephant||Loxodonta africana Africana||Vulnerable|
|Southern rockhopper penguin||Eudyptes chrysocome||Vulnerable|
|Whale Shark||Rhincodon typus||Vulnerable|
|Albacore Tuna||Thunnus alalunga||Near Threatened|
|Beluga||Delphinapterus leucas||Near Threatened|
|Greater Sage-Grouse||Centrocercus urophasianus||Near Threatened|
|Jaguar||Panthera onca||Near Threatened|
|Monarch Butterfly||Danaus plexippus||Near Threatened|
|Mountain Plover||Charadrius montanus||Near Threatened|
|Narwhal||Monodon monoceros||Near Threatened|
|Plains Bison||Bison bison bison||Near Threatened|
|White Rhino||Ceratotherium simum||Near Threatened|
|Yellowfin Tuna||Thunnus albacares||Near Threatened|