The Living Planet Index, provided by the Zoological Society of London (ZSL) and included in the WWF Living Planet 2018 report, tracks trends in global wildlife and measured the population of vertebrates between 1970 and 2014, the latest year for which data was available.
Their latest global report claims wildlife is dying out faster than ever and says nature needs worldwide "life support".
The big takeaway stat is that populations of mammals, fish, birds, reptiles, and amphibians have plunged by an average of 60% since 1970, reports the Guardian.
" This huge loss in the number of animals is mainly attributed to human activities, such as deforestation, overgrazing, and hunting endangered animals".
The 2018 edition said, "Only a quarter of the world's land area is now free from the impact of human activity and the proportion will have fallen to just a 10th by 2050."The change is being drove by ever-rising food production and increased demand for energy, land and water".
Unbridled consumption has decimated global wildlife, triggered a mass extinction and exhausted earth's capacity to accommodate humanity's expanding appetites, the conservation group WWF warned Tuesday. "That is the scale of what we have done". Between climate change and the human need for more and more space, our world is shrinking. "We are going to need your help to achieve it", said Prof. "We may also be the last that can act to reverse this trend, from now until 2020 will be decisive moment in history", the report stated. "It is time that we look beyond business as usual scenarios and galvanise collective action for positive change, allowing the planet an opportunity to revive itself", Secretary General and CEO of WWF-India Ravi Singh said.
Final quote: "We are the first generation to know we are destroying our planet and the last one that can do anything about it", says Tanya Steele, the WWF's chief executive in the UK.More news: Woman Arrested After Crash Kills 3 Indiana Kids Waiting For School Bus
The 145-page study covers everything from the importance of nature in our lives and the world's economies to global threats and pressures to what future we want for our planet.
Humans have exploited nature to such an extent that a staggering 60 per cent of the wildlife and 87 per cent wetlands have been wiped out since 1970.
The report notes that species are most at risk in the tropics with South and Central America experiencing the steepest decline. 'The collapse of wildlife populations over the last half-century is a shocking measure of humanity's impact on our planet, ' John Sauven, executive director of Greenpeace UK, said in response to the report, joining WWF in calling for 'urgent action from world leaders.' 'From the decline of orangutans due to deforestation for palm oil to the ruinous impact of climate change on Arctic habitats to plastic pollution destroying marine wildlife, we can not continue with business as usual, ' he added.
The report based on the ongoing survey of more than 4,000 species spread over 16,700 populations suggest that that situation is awful right now and it is getting worse with the increase in our unbridled consumption.
The report calls for a "global deal for nature", similar to the Paris Climate Agreement, to set more ambitious conservation goals.
"It is economic development and the growth of the world's middle classes, not population rise per se, that is dramatically influencing the rate of change of Earth's life support system", said Owen Gaffney from the Stockholm Resilience Centre.