More than half of forest wildlife declined since 1970: WWF

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  1. The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) has released the “Below the Canopy report”. It is the world’s first-ever global assessment of forest-living species populations.
  2. The report uses the methodology of WWF’s Living Planet Report (Living Planet Index) and developed a Forest Specialist Index that tracks wildlife that lives only in forests. In total, the report took into account 268 species (455 populations) of birds, mammals, reptiles and amphibians.
  3. According to the report, there has been a 53% decline in the number of forest wildlife populations since 1970. Of the 455 monitored populations, more than half declined at an annual rate of 1.7%, on average between 1970 and 2014.
  4. The report has noted that along with deforestation there were other major threats that has led to decline in wildlife populations. These include: Habitat loss and habitat degradation/change, overexploitation and climate change.
  5. Loss of habitat due to logging, agricultural expansion, mining, hunting, conflicts and spread of diseases accounted for almost 60% of threats. Nearly 20% of threats were due to overexploitation.
  6. Climate change threatened to 43% of amphibian populations, 37% of reptile populations, 21% of bird populations but only 3% of mammal populations.
  7. In October 2018 WWF published the Living Planet Report. The report highlighted that global populations of fish, birds, mammals, amphibians and reptiles have decreased by an average of 60% between 1970 and 2014.
  8. In an effort to conserve nature, world leaders have agreed to launch a New Deal for Nature and People at 15th Convention of Biological Diversity (CBD) COP in 2020 in China.