Life on Land

Global Wildlife Decreases by nearly TWO THIRDS in less than 50 years

According to the Living Planet Report 2020 by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), wildlife population sizes decreased by an average of 68% worldwide between 1970 and 2016. Tropical regions in America have suffered the most, with a 94% decline in vertebrate species during this period. This indicates a staggering loss of biodiversity.

According to the report, only 25% of the Earth’s ice-free land is still seen as ‘wilderness’, with 75% having been dramatically altered for the sake of human consumption. The population sizes of species have suffered as a result of human-induced climate change for decades. However, the rate of biodiversity loss is increasing. Many of the driving forces – such as deforestation, greenhouse gas emissions and illegal wildlife trading – are also linked to the increased likelihood of pandemic diseases, much like COVID-19.

The Director General of WWF, Marco Lambertini, has said that the recent Living Planet Report shows “how humanity’s increasing destruction of nature is having catastrophic impacts not only on wildlife populations but also on human health and all aspects of our lives”.

However, with more sustainable agriculture, economic and energy systems, we may just be able to restore the planet’s ecosystems and protect its wildlife.

The full Living Planet Report 2020 and a summary version are available at:

Posted by Iona Chichester 15 October 2020

Related posts

How to Get Involved

Have you been inspired by our featured changemakers? Would you like to learn more, collaborate with others or discover how you can train in an environmental career?

Select from one of the options to find more information and start your journey as a Planetary Person!