By 2020, the earth may have lost more than 70 percent of its wildlife if nothing is done to preserve their habitats.
Our ecosystems are going through changes as a result of human activities that wreak havoc on the environment. Experts refer to this as the age of Anthropocene and it is about to show its ugly face.
Apart from changes in the earth’s oceans, forests, and atmosphere, another effect of Anthropocene is the massive disappearance of the earth’s wildlife. A similar occurrence, the extinction of dinosaurs, happened more than 60 million years ago.
According to the Zoological Society of London (ZSL) and World Wildlife Fund (WWF), an organization which aims to conserve and preserve wildlife and species at risk of extinction, the number of animals on earth will plunge by more than 60 percent, approximately four years from now. These animals include amphibians, mammals, birds, fish, and reptiles.
Similarly, a 58 percent decline in wildlife was recorded in a span of 32 years, from 1970 to 2012.
These stats were taken from data trends of more than 14,000 populations of various vertebrates found in different parts of the world.
This survey is also the most extensive one ever conducted aimed at studying the earth’s health.
The number one threat to wildlife is the destruction of their habitats. According to WWF, human activities including logging, development of infrastructure, mining, and production of energy have an impact on animal habitats.
Worsening pollution, climate change, poaching, and overexploitation also destroy animal habitats.
WWF’s report also indicate that food production must be given special attention. Obviously, the earth’s resources are limited, and with the growing number of people, it is possible that food will later become a very scarce commodity.
Despite these forecasts, experts remind that things can be done to slow the advent of Anthropocene. They explain that wild animals haven’t disappeared yet but are merely facing extinction. So it’s actually a wake-up call for people to do their share in preservation and conservation efforts.
It is fortunate that some countries have taken initial steps to address issues will have a direct impact on wildlife preservation. One such initiative is the Paris Climate Agreement participated in by almost 200 countries, pledging to decrease global carbon emissions. Another noteworthy endeavor is the CITES Wildlife Summit for the protection endangered animals.
Collectively, humankind can do more for the preservation of animals and wildlife by cutting down or avoiding activities that destroy their natural habitat. By doing so, maybe the Anthropocene age won’t be coming around for decades.