Wild animal population has plunged 60 percent since 1970: report

Wild animal population has plunged 60 percent since 1970: report
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Sixty percent of all animals with a backbone have been wiped out by human activity in the past 40 years, according to a new World Wildlife Fund (WWF) "Living Planet" report. 

The report surveyed over 4,000 species spread across 16,700 populations across the planet from 1970 to 2014, AFP reported Tuesday.

"The situation is really bad, and it keeps getting worse," Marco Lambertini, the director general of WWF International, told AFP.

"The only good news is that we know exactly what is happening,” he continued.

According to the report, freshwater fauna has seen an 80 percent decline since 1970.

Over the same period, the wildlife population in Latin America reportedly saw a decline of 90 percent.

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The report also found that the current rate of species being loss is 100 to 1,000 times higher than it was several hundred years ago, according to AFP.

"The statistics are scary," Piero Visconti, one of the co-authors of the 80-page report and a researcher at the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis in Austria, told the news agency.

"Unlike population declines, extinctions are irreversible,” she said. 

"A healthy, sustainable future for all is only possible on a planet where nature thrives and forests, oceans and rivers are teeming with biodiversity and life," Lambertini added.

The report comes weeks after the United Nations panel warned in another report that the world might be on a path toward catastrophic climate change if greenhouse gas emissions aren’t significantly cut by 2030.

That report said the world needs to decrease emissions by 45 percent by 2030 to prevent the atmosphere from warming by 1.5 degrees Celsius.

To prevent the global temperature from rising above 1.5 degrees Celsius, the world's leading nations would need to undergo a massive transformation in the way their populations use transportation and grow food.

In the 2015 Paris climate pact, international leaders agreed to curb the global temperature rise to 2 degrees Celsius above the era prior to mass industrialization, with an aspiration to limit this to 1.5 degrees. 

President TrumpDonald John TrumpAvenatti ‘still considering’ presidential run despite domestic violence arrest Mulvaney positioning himself to be Commerce Secretary: report Kasich: Wouldn’t want presidential run to ‘diminish my voice’ MORE formally withdrew from the pact last year, an act that separated the U.S. from most of the world on climate change. Trump at the time called the agreement “unfair, at the highest level, to the United States.”