- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Climate change threatened to 43% of amphibian populations, 37% of reptile populations, 21% of bird populations but only 3% of mammal populations.
- 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.
- 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.
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