World to Lose Two-Thirds of Wild Animals by 2020?
A dramatic new report warns of ecological collapse, though critics say the conclusion is overblown and misleading.
An incendiary new report from two major conservation groups predicts dire circumstances for the world's wild animals, warning that two-thirds of vertebrate populations could be wiped out by 2020, based on 1970 population levels.
The new report, called the Living Planet Index, was prepared by the World Wildlife Fund and the Zoological Society of London. The index found that animal populations dropped by 58 percent between 1970 and 2012, largely as a result of human activities, from poaching to habitat loss and pollution.
The team then extrapolated those trends forward to 2020. They based their analysis on data collected in the field on more than 14,000 populations of vertebrates, from 3,700 different species. The data came from many sources, from all