We humans should be ashamed.
Humanity has wiped out 60% of mammals, birds, fish and reptiles since 1970, leading the world’s foremost experts to warn that the annihilation of wildlife is now an emergency that threatens civilization.
The new estimate of the massacre of wildlife is made in a major report produced by WWF and involving 59 scientists from across the globe.
It finds that the vast and growing consumption of food and resources by the global population is destroying life, billions of years in the making, upon which human society ultimately depends for clean air, water and everything else.
“We are sleepwalking towards the edge of a cliff” said Mike Barrett, executive director of science and conservation at WWF.
“If there was a 60% decline in the human population, that would be equivalent to emptying North America, South America, Africa, Europe, China and Oceania. That is the scale of what we have done.”
“This is far more than just being about losing the wonders of nature, desperately sad though that is,” he said. “This is actually now jeopardising the future of people.
Nature is not a ‘nice to have’ – it is our life-support system.”
Many scientists believe the world has begun a sixth mass extinction, the first to be caused by a species – Homo sapiens.
Other recent analyses have revealed that humankind has destroyed 83% of all mammals and half of plants since the dawn of civilisation and that, even if the destruction were to end now, it would take 5-7 million years for the natural world to recover.