Half as Many Animals Today as 1974

living planet reportA new report from WWF says, “Population sizes of vertebrate species measured by the Living Planet Index have halved over the last 40 years.” Worldwide, it’s freshwater species that are feeling the the most pain, with populations declining 76 percent. Latin America is the world region with the steepest decline, with populations falling 83 percent.

High Country News summarizes what the report says about the United States, specifically the western US succinctly. We’re good at preserving charismatic megafauna — bison are up, even wolves are. But we’re not so good at the little things, like amphibians. Our wealth as a nation means we can pay to protect the wildlife we love, but it also means we can outsource our exploitation — such as when we save the fish on our own coasts, but import most of the fish we eat from elsewhere.

Download the Living Planet Index, here. (Part of a larger Living Planet Report.)
Read the High Country News coverage, here.

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