Has Half of World's Wildlife Been Lost in Past 40 Years?
The "2014 Living Planet Report" tracked population trends among species.
A compilation of wildlife trends suggests that populations of some wild animals have fallen by half in the past four decades, according to a report released Tuesday by the advocacy group World Wildlife Fund.
The 2014 Living Planet Report gives an index that tracks the numbers of animals in selected populations of vertebrates—mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, and fish—across the globe.
This "Living Planet Index" declined by 52 percent between 1970 and 2010, "a much bigger decrease than has been reported previously," according to the report.
The 52 percent figure refers to a general trend of vertebrate species populations shrinking, on average, to about half the size that they were 40 years ago, according to WWF spokesperson Molly Edmonds.
The report attributes the