Azara Blog: The world's wildlife is allegedly being wiped out

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Date published: 2008/05/17

The BBC says:

Between a quarter and a third of the world's wildlife has been lost since 1970, according to data compiled by the Zoological Society of London.

Populations of land-based species fell by 25%, marine by 28% and freshwater by 29%, it says.

Humans are wiping out about 1% of all other species every year, and one of the "great extinction episodes" in the Earth's history is under way, it says.

Pollution, farming and urban expansion, over-fishing and hunting are blamed.

The Living Planet Index, compiled by the society in partnership with the wildlife group WWF, tracks the fortunes of more than 1,400 species of fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals, using scientific publications and online databases.
The WWF said that over the next 30 years, climate change was also expected to become a significant threat to species.

Another "end of the world" report. Of course there is no way of knowing whether the species sampled are in any way representative of all (non-human) species. But the human population almost doubled between 1970 and today, so it would not be very surprising if humanity is crowding out a substantive amount of other life. There is only so much biomass to go around. Should this be something that humans should worry about? And, if so, is anyone volunteering to be part of a reduction of the human population? (Well, the WWF never mentions population reduction. Their preferred alternative seems to be to make the rich world poor.)

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