This huge loss threatens the survival of civilization
Humanity has wiped out 60% of animal populations since 1970, experts warn this destruction of wildlife is an emergency that threatens civilization.
Many scientists believe the world has begun a sixth mass extinction, the first to be caused by a species. Recent analyses has revealed that humanity has destroyed 83% of all mammals and half of plants since the dawn of civilization.
The Living Planet Index, produced for WWF (World Wide Fund for Nature) by the Zoological Society of London, uses data on 16,704 populations of mammals, birds, fish, reptiles and amphibians, representing more than 4,000 species, to track the decline of wildlife. Between 1970 and 2014 populations fell by an average of 60%. The decline was 52% four years ago. The wildlife crash is continuing unabated.
The biggest cause of wildlife losses is the destruction of natural habitats, much of it to create farmland. Three-quarters of all land on Earth is now significantly affected by human activities.