(CBS) – The World Wildlife Fund’s Living Planet Report 2020 was released. The study on the state of the wildlife decline is released every two years.
From the savannah to the sea, the world’s wildlife is under threat. Everything from big game animals and birds to our favorite fish have had their populations decline nearly 70% in the past 50 years, according to the WWF report. “When we see this decline in wildlife, that we’re really seeing an indicator of decline in the overall planet that we call home,” says WWF scientist Jeff Opperman.
The organization monitored nearly 21,000 different species. It says the destruction of habitats, like rainforests, is one of the biggest culprits. “How we grow food around the world is the biggest driver of decline for terrestrials, species that live in forests or grasslands,” Opperman says.
Agriculture is to blame for up to 80% of the global deforestation, according to studies. To help stop the trend, experts say we only need to look as far as our kitchen. “There are clearly decisions that each of us can make in terms of what we eat, what we buy, how we use energy, a lot of choices that we make that do ripple through the system,” Opperman says.
By living a more sustainable life, we can preserve our natural wonders and the animals that live there for future generations.
The WWF report also found that 75% of the planet’s ice-free land had been significantly altered due to human activity.