Some wild animals may go extinct by 2020. (bm.iphone, Flickr)

A  World Wildlife Fund reports says that the world will lose nearly 68 percent of its wildlife by 2020.

Such a major loss may as well be the prelude to another major mass extinction of animals, says the report.

According to the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF)-Living Plant Report 2016, populations of  mammals, birds, and fish has declined by 58% between 1970 and 2012.

The largest drop is in freshwater species: on average, there’s been an 81% decline in that time period.

The reasons for the decline are habitat loss and degradation. Unchecked urbanisation and unsustainable agriculture methods are the major culprits. Also the oceans are being over fished leading to a further decline in the ecosystem and disturbing the food chain.

Climate change is affecting the reproduction and migration habits of some species. Rising temperatures are leading to some species migrating at the wrong time and changing their breeding season leading to further depletion in numbers and survival.

Added o that is poaching and hunting of animals.

The report says that about 41 percent mammals, 46 per cent reptiles, 57 per cent amphibians and 70 per cent freshwater fish are “threatened with extinction” in India. Four of the 385 species of mammals are already extinct in India, according to the report.

Seven percent of birds may also be extinct in the world.

“This research delivers a wake-up call that for decades we’ve treated our planet as if it’s disposable,” said Carter Roberts, WWF president and CEO. “We created this problem. The good news is that we can fix it. It requires updating our approach to food, energy, transportation, and how we live our lives. We share the same planet. We rely on it for our survival. So we are all responsible for its protection.”

 

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