'Nature is dying': WWF reveals we've killed off over half the world's wildlife

A new report says two generations of humans have killed off more than half the world's wildlife populations.

The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) says animal populations across the planet have fallen by an average of 60 percent since 1970.

Freshwater species of fish, reptiles and amphibians have been particularly badly affected, falling by 83 percent.

'Nature is dying': WWF reveals we've killed off over half the world's wildlife

An estimated 90 percent of seabirds have plastic in their stomachs, compared to just 5 percent in 1960.

The animal kingdom is a thing of beauty, but its future looks ugly - and humans are to blame. 

Tanya Steele, chief executive at WWF UK, says the figures are stark.

"It's a warning sign that nature is dying and we need to put it on life support."

Among the most alarming figures, is that there is a loss of more than 100,000 orangutans. Meanwhile black and white rhinos, African elephants and whale shark populations have also fallen by around 60 percent.

'Nature is dying': WWF reveals we've killed off over half the world's wildlife

Livia Esterhazy, WWF NZ chief executive, says we are now at a critical moment in time.

"It is affecting New Zealand, everything in that report is very much aligned to the losses, and threats of losses here in New Zealand."

To put the numbers into perspective, if there was a 60 percent decline in the human population, you would be emptying North America, South America, Africa, Europe, China and Oceania.

'Nature is dying': WWF reveals we've killed off over half the world's wildlife

That's the scale of damage.

"We're using our nature as if it was an infinite commodity to be used, and what this report is very clearly saying is that has to stop and it has to stop now," says Ms Esterhazy.

Deforestation, over-fishing, pollution and of course, climate change are all responsible.

Conservationists are calling for a global pact to protect wildlife similar to the ones which are targeting global warming.

'Nature is dying': WWF reveals we've killed off over half the world's wildlife

"There needs to be a companion agreement around nature loss, and I would love our Government to take the lead in that," says Ms Esterhazy.

The WWF is delivering a confronting but rousing message today: as the first generation to know we are destroying the planet, we're also the last one that can do something about it.

Newshub. 

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