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Animal Populations Fell by 68% in 50 Years and It’s Getting Worse

Food production and other human activities are destroying the very systems they rely on, according to a new study 

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Animal Population Shrunk 68% in 50 Years

The world is losing its mammals, birds, amphibians, reptiles and fish, and with them, the security of ecosystems that have supported humanity since it first emerged.

That’s the conclusion of the Living Planet Report 2020, a biannual assessment by World Wildlife Fund and the Zoological Society of London, which records the decline in vertebrate life. This year’s report, released Wednesday, shows that these animal communities shrunk on average 68% between 1970 and 2016. Parts of the world are much worse off. The tropical Americas have seen animal populations decline 94% in the same period. The size of observed animal communities in or near freshwater globally have fallen by 84%.