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
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
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.