A new report says the world lost a staggering 60 percent of its wildlife populations over a period of four decades.
In its 2018 Living Planet Report, the World Wildlife Fund cites deforestation, climate change and a rise in pollution for the decline among 16,700 populations between 1970 and 2014.
The report says that half of the world's shallow-water corals have been wiped out over the last 30 years; ivory poaching has reduced the elephant population in Tanzania by more than 60 percent between 2009 and 2014, and 100,000 orangutans in Borneo died between 1999 and 2015 due to deforestation.
The WWF also predicts the number of polar bears will be reduced by 30 percent by 2050 as climate change melts the Arctic ice.
"It's mind-blowing," says WWF Director-General Marco Lambertini, describing the crisis as "unprecedented in its speed, in its scale, and because it is single-handed." The group is calling for an international treaty to protect wildlife, but says it must be enacted within two years to actually make a difference, due to the fast pace of destruction.
Source: Voice of America