Shocking report as World Wildlife Foundation reveals only 678 rhinos are alive in Kenya down from 20,000

Wildlife population is decreasing at an alarming rate according to a new report by the World Wildlife Foundation (WWF)

 

The report, ‘Living Planet Report 2016’ says there have been a 58 per cent decrease of wildlife population since 1970 and 67 per cent would be lost by 2020 if the trend is not checked.

According to the report that has tracked over 14,000 wildlife populations of over 3,700 species from 1970 to 2012, human activities like pollution, poaching, overfishing, degradation, overexploitation of wildlife and climate change are among the many causes of the decline.

Fred Kwame, WWF African Regional Director said the planet has entered a new chapter in its history as humanity has managed to push it to its limits that it can no longer cope or effectively sustain itself.

“In just a few decades, we have rapidly accelerated the destructive, wasteful and unsustainable use of natural resources. We are shaping changes on the Earth for the first time and wildlife is most affected.” Said Kwame.

The researchers says that African elephants are severely threatened by poaching, habitat loss and fragmentation.

In Kenya in the 70s, the number of elephants was said to be 170,000 but the number has declined to 35,000 while rhinos were 20,000 and now only 678 are living.

In Selous Game Reserve in Tanzania there is a steady decline of elephants by 60 per cent between 2009 and 2014 primarily due to poaching.

African grey parrot population in south-west Ghana showed a 98 per cent decline between 1992 and 2014 due to the exploitation, habitat loss and degradation while

With agriculture occupying about one third of the Earth’s total land area and accounting for almost 70 per cent of human water use, the report said, the food production system is also a major contributor of the decline in animals and pushing the planet to its knees.

Conservative Director, WWF Kenya, Jared Bosire said to restore the planet “We need to shift to agriculture methods that grow food where it is needed and where it is suited and our focus should be on yield optimization within ecosystem boundaries through natural processes and inputs.”

He added at the sea, there is need to stop over exploitation and destructive fishing methods, creating and respecting marine protected areas.

The Living Report 2016 framework was developed by Stockholm Resilience Centre in collaboration with other partners like Zoological Society of London and Global Footprint Network.

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