Worldwide Animal Populations Reportedly Decline By Nearly 70% in Only 50 Years, Experts Say

by Jon D. B.

According to a new report by the World Wildlife Fundanimal populations show decline at a terrifying rate worldwide. In fact, the decline is already so severe that only a complete overhaul of human economics could reverse the damage.

This is not the news we need or want in 2020, but it is the truth nonetheless. Major outlets across the globe are carrying versions of the WWF’s findings today. They are staggering, sobering, and more than shocking. According to the findings, things are looking worse than we imagined:

Nearly 21,000 monitored populations of mammals, fish, birds, reptiles and amphibians, encompassing almost 4,400 species around the world, have declined. An average of 68% between 1970 and 2016, according to the World Wildlife Fund’s Living Planet Report 2020. Species in Latin America and the Caribbean, as well as global freshwater habitats, were disproportionately impacted, declining, on average, 94% and 84%, respectively.

WWF Living Planet Report via CBS News

It isnt just Wildlife that this Tragic Decline hurts. It hurts all of us Worldwide.

(Photo by Axel Heimken/picture alliance via Getty Images)

World Wildlife Fund (WWF) releases its landmark report every two years. The findings reveal how far certain animal species populations have declined since 1970. This latest incarnation of the report indicated the rate of decline signals:

“a fundamentally broken relationship between humans and the natural world, the consequences of which — as demonstrated by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic — can be catastrophic.”


Furthering their emphasis on how this devastation impacts humanity, WWF U.S. president and CEO Carter Roberts has released a haunting statement. His words are digging into the truth of this revelation:

This report reminds us that we destroy the planet at our peril — because it is our home. As humanity’s footprint expands into once-wild places, we’re devastating species populations. But we’re also exacerbating climate change and increasing the risk of zoonotic diseases like COVID-19. We cannot shield humanity from the impacts of environmental destruction. It’s time to restore our broken relationship with nature for the benefit of species and people alike.

WWF U.S. president and CEO Carter Roberts

What Can be Done to Reverse This?

A view of the dismantled remains of an illegal gold mining camp “Mega 12” (Photo credit should read GUADALUPE PARDO/AFP via Getty Images)

Unfortunately, the worldwide destruction of wildlife-sustaining ecosystems has ravaged 1 million species. The numbers divide into 500,000 animals and plants and 500,000 insects, all of which are threatened now by extinction. Thankfully, many of these can be prevented with conservation efforts. The WWF points to the decrease in demand by humanity by 10% during the COVID-19 Pandemic. As such, is shows a possibility of “rebalancing” our needs to fit within the world we live. CBS News condenses the WWF’s findings, highlighting ways the organization thinks we can hault this catastrophy:

While the report paints a tragic picture for the future of the natural world… it urges that current trends can be flattened, and even reversed, with urgent action. It emphasizes the need for world leaders to overhaul the food production and consumption industries… taking deforestation completely out of supply chains and making trade more sustainable, among other things.

CBS News

Above all, we hope this report serves as a sobering warning. If we as a population can better serve the needs of our own ecosystems, everyone will benefit. That everyone, without a doubt, includes our wildlife neighbors, too.

[H/T CBS News & WWF]