The Living Planet Index (LPI) reveals that global populations of fish, birds, mammals, amphibians and reptiles declined by 58 per cent between 1970 and 2012. Assessed populations of freshwater species declined by 81% while marine species by 36%. For example, of the total number of fish stocks assessed in 2013, fully shed stocks accounted for 58.1% and under exploited stocks – that is, those which could sustainably support increased harvesting – only 10.5 %.
Habitat loss and degradation are listed as the major causes and threats of such a massive decline in addition to species overexploitation, pollution, invasive species and climate change.
Humanity currently needs the regenerative capacity of 1.6 Earths to provide the goods and services we use each year. Consumption patterns in high- income countries result in disproportional demands on Earth’s renewable resources, often at the expense of people and nature elsewhere in the world. The speed at which we transition to a sustainable society is a key factor for determining future. For more information see: www.worldwildlife.org/living-planet-report-2016