A new study shows that the global wildlife population is in rapid decline. Nearly half of the planet’s species are found to be rapidly declining. These disappointing results come after an analysis of more than 70,000 species of animals, birds, reptiles, fish and insects around the world. CBC News reports that the worst situation is in the tropics, where animals are more susceptible to environmental change.

Alarm bells for the animal kingdom. A new study warns of a serious and rapid decline in the global wildlife population. Some scientists claim we are entering a period of mass extinction. Albert Delatello joins us with details.

Albert, to appreciate this sad report, tell us what the numbers are there?

ALBERT DELATELLO, correspondent: Heather, the study says the extinction of wildlife around the world is far more alarming than previously thought. Almost half of the species on the planet are experiencing a rapid decline in numbers.

It also reveals that humans have wiped out huge numbers of species and pushed many more to the brink. There are fears that we could be on the verge of another of six mass extinctions, only this time caused by humans.

Let’s take a look at the figures from a study published this week in the journal Biological Reviews. The work analysed more than 70,000 species worldwide, including mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, fish and insects. Almost half of all species are declining and less than three per cent are increasing.

Worryingly, even of the species considered non-threatened by the UN International Union for Conservation of Nature, 33 per cent are declining rapidly, approaching extinction, the study authors report. Amphibians have been particularly hard hit – by a variety of threats, including disease and climate change. Fish and reptiles have it a little easier – their numbers are more stable.

The report says the situation is worst in the tropics as animals there are more susceptible to sudden changes in the environment.

This is one of the most urgent warnings – that we have heard in a very long time – about the impact of humanity on biodiversity. Albert, is there any suggestion or recommendation in this report on how this decline can be addressed?

ALBERT DELATELLO: Sure. Regarding biodiversity loss, the authors of the study say we need to improve the criteria for understanding what it means to be at risk of extinction. It is worth paying more attention to approaches to conservation efforts (species. – InoTV) in order to better identify areas at risk and achieve more effective responses.

The authors of the study argue that we are at a turning point – and the focus of humanity must be on protecting and enhancing biodiversity and thus preserving humanity. 

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