China: 50% decline in animals since 1970

The sun is setting on countless species of animals in China, with the WWF’s ‘Living Planet Report – China 2015’ detailing a 50% decline in animal populations since the 1970s. According to data collected from 1,385 different animal populations comprising birds, mammals, amphibians and reptiles, populations of terrestrial invertebrates have decreased by 49.7%, and amphibians and reptiles have declined by an astonishing 97.44%.

The barely credible drop in population numbers have stemmed from habit loss and fragmentation, pollution, climate change, diseases and invasive species. Endemic bird populations, on the other hand, have increased by 43% due to a growing number of nature reserves, which have been established alongside new laws and regulations governing conservation and animal protection.

As detailed previously, these nature reserves also face threats from differing sources, but the increase in bird populations detailed in the report shows that nature reserves do work when finances and resources are invested in them.

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Sources:

WWF: China’s animal populations nearly halved over past 40 years, China Daily, November 2015 http://europe.chinadaily.com.cn/china/2015-11/13/content_22447317.htm

Living Planet Report – China 2015, WWF, 2015

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