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Sixty percent of animal populations have been eliminated since 1970 due to human activities, according to the Zoological Society of London (ZSL).
The ZSL prepared a comprehensive report on the status of animal populations around the globe for the World Wildlife Fund (WWF). The report presented data gathered on more than 16,000 populations of several species from 1970 to 2014. According to the report, wildlife populations have significantly declined during the period of observation and are continuing to dwindle until present.
The report also revealed that some human activities were the major reasons for the drop in the populations observed. The first, which caused the greatest damage, is the destruction of animal habitats to accommodate farming. The second is killing animals for food. Currently, 300 species of mammals being consumed for food are headed for extinction, while marine animals are being threatened by overfishing in 50% of the world’s oceans.
Irresponsible disposal of chemical wastes has also led to contamination of marine wildlife and is now threatening to eliminate half of the world’s killer whales. Lastly, transporting and selling animals from country to country have caused some diseases and pests to spread like wildfire and kill animals in destination countries.
In light of the new data, the WWF said that old solutions such as building wildlife sanctuaries are no longer enough to stem the tide of wildlife decline. The organization recommended the creation of laws and major changes, which will help preserve animal populations, in private companies. In addition, the WWF called on individuals to limit their meat consumption.