Sixth Mass Extinction by 2020?
The World Wildlife Fund today revealed the worst case scenario for the status of the world’s wildlife by the end of the decade.
WWF says more than two thirds of the world’s wildlife could be gone by 2020 if worldwide action isn’t taken soon.
The conservationist group said there has been a 58% overall decline in the numbers of fish, mammals, birds and reptiles worldwide since 1970. This sums up that global wildlife is vanishing at a rate of 2% annually.
By the end of the decade, WWF said, a mass extinction is coming.
WWF conservation scientist Martin Taylor told CNN, “This is definitely human impact, we’re in the sixth mass extinction. There’s only been five before this and we’re definitely in the sixth.”
Who Is To Blame?
WWF highlighted that mass extinction is the result of habitat loss, exploitation of resources, pollution and climate change.
Taylor said, “It’s because we’re using so much of the planet and we’re destroying so much of (these animals’) habitat.”
Habitat loss is evident in wetlands, lakes and rivers. In fact, an 81% decrease of species population is recorded since 1970.
At Risk of Extinction
WWF revealed that elephants are at risk of rapid of extinction by 2020. Their population has dropped a staggering amount, almost one third by 2014. The decline is mainly the consequence of poaching.
Aside from that, due to overfishing, sharks and rays are on the verge of extinction as well.
Taylor said the deaths of animals and fish across the globe aren’t just a threat to biodiversity but could see humanity threatened as well.
Humanity is Threatened
Taylor underlined the need for countries to reverse this trend of wildlife extinction. For one reason, the decline of these species is a threat to the planet and to humankind.
He said, “We only have one planet if we screw it up then we’re gone.”
In addition, the conservation scientist highlighted the importance of governments taking immediate action to cut down on emissions and habitat destruction.