(TIME) Casey Quackenbush, November 4, 2018 — Human activity has decimated global wildlife, reducing species counts by an average of 60% over the last four decades, according to an alarming new World Wildlife Fund report.
Species are disappearing due to habitat loss and degradation, as well as overexploitation of wildlife, pollution and climate change, the Living Planet Report 2018 says.
Tracking populations of more than 4,000 mammal, bird, fish, reptile and amphibian species, the WWF researchers found staggering declines between 1970 and 2014. These reductions are thought to be directly linked to human activity since current rates of species extinction are now 100 to 1,000 times higher than before human pressures became a factor.
“This report sounds a warning shot across our bow. Natural systems essential to our survival – forests, oceans, and rivers – remain in decline. Wildlife around the world continue to dwindle,” Carter Roberts, President and CEO of WWF-US, said in a statement.