This amazing statistic from The Living Planet Index goes on: The number of wild animals living on Earth is set to fall by two-thirds by 2020, according to a new report, part of a mass extinction that is destroying the natural world upon which humanity depends.
The analysis, the most comprehensive to date, indicates that animal populations plummeted by 58% between 1970 and 2012, with losses on track to reach 67% by 2020. Researchers from WWF and the Zoological Society of London compiled the report from scientific data and found that the destruction of wild habitats, hunting and pollution were to blame.
Starting Saturday, a comprehensive, global appraisal of the damage, and what can be done to reverse it, will be conducted in Colombia.
"The science is clear: biodiversity is in crisis globally," WWF director general Marco Lambertini told AFP ahead of a crucial meeting of the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES).
"We depend on biodiversity for the food we eat, the water we drink, the clean air we breathe, the stability of weather patterns, and yet our actions are pushing nature's ability to sustain us to the brink."
According to The Daily Mail, there are an estimated 8.7 million plant and animal species on our planet and about 86 percent of land species and 91 percent of sea species remain undiscovered.
Of the ones we do know, 1,204 mammals, 1,469 bird, 1,215 reptiles, 2,100 amphibia, and 2,386 fish species are considered threatened.
Also threatened are 1,414 insects, 2,187 molluscs, 732 crustacea, 237 coral, 12,505 plant, 33 mushrooms, and six brown algae species.
Earth is enduring the sixth mass species extinction which is plunging the planet into 'global crisis', scientists have warned.
Scientists warn humanity's voracious consumption and wanton destruction is to blame for the event, which is the first major extinction since the dinosaurs.
Two species of vertebrate, animals with a backbone, have gone extinct every year, on average, for the past century.
Currently, around 41 percent of amphibian species and more than a quarter of mammals are threatened with extinction.
Scientists and government envoys will gather as the 128-member IPBES to dot the I's and cross the T's on five monumental assessment reports designed to inform global policymaking into the future.
Compiled over the last three years, the reports will provide the most up-to-date picture of the health of the world's plants, animals and soil.
The diagnosis will be unveiled in two parts at the summit in Colombia's second-largest city, Medellin.
First, on March 23, the IPBES will simultaneously release separate assessments for the four regions into which it has divided the world -- the Americas, Africa, Asia-Pacific, and Europe and Central Asia.
A fifth report, due March 26, will focus on the global state of the soil, which is fast being degraded through pollution, forest-destruction, mining, and unsustainable farming methods that deplete its nutrients.
AFP REPORT HERE