The world’s wildlife population has decreased by 60 per cent since 1970.
That’s according to a new report from the World Wildlife Foundation and Zoological Society of London.
Emily Giles, species specialist with WWF Canada, says there’s an urgent need to take action to prevent further decline.
“Both globally as well as here in Canada we know that habitat loss as well as over exploitation are the main reasons for this wildlife decline.”
Giles says climate change is a major factor and countries need to take steps to reduce its effects.
Canada has seen a decline of both mammals and fish stocks, including right whales and brown bats.
“We saw a 38 per cent decline in marine fish populations since 1970,” she says. “We’ve also seen some big declines in mammal populations across Canada, we saw a 43 per cent decline.”
She believes governments can help by reducing greenhouse gases and increasing protections, such as with Marine Protected Areas.
“There’s also threats like climate change which are present now and are only expected to get worse in the future so again really illustrating that we need to take action now to stem some of these threats.”
In Canada, Giles says they are looking for more networks for protections and they want to be sure Marine Protected Areas exclude oil and gas extraction.
“Really this is a call for Canada as well as people around the planet to really motivate governments, businesses and individuals around the world to work together to address this concern,” says Giles.
She says current efforts just aren’t enough and they are issuing a call to action.