Unless we act now, wildlife populations will decline by 67% by 2020

We can turn it around #ForOurPlanet

Living Planet
Report 2016

WWF’s Living Planet Report is the world’s leading, science-based look at the health of our amazing planet. The latest edition shows the devastating impacts humans are having on the world’s wildlife and natural world. It also shows we can solve these problems.

Download the full Living Planet Report 2016

The report tracks thousands of species populations and measures how the way we live our lives is affecting the environment.

Wildlife populations have already shown a concerning decline, on average by 58% between 1970 and 2012.

Wildlife populations have already shown a concerning decline, on average by 58% between 1970 and 2012.

The report is produced in collaboration with ZSL, the Stockholm Resilience Centre, the Global Footprint Network, the Stockholm Environment Institute and Metabolic.

WWF’s Inaugural Living Planet Lecture

Listen to Sir David Attenborough reflect on the impact humans are having on our planet, with a compelling talk by world renowned scientist Professor Johan Rockstrom, Executive Director of The Stockholm Resilience Centre

Tigers

Number remaining: Around 3900 in the wild

Habitat: isolated forests and grasslands throughout Asia

Key threats:
• Poaching
• Habitat destruction
• Climate change
• Human-wildlife conflict

We can turn it around:
Tiger numbers have increased from 3,200 in 2010 to around 3,900 today.

Image credit: © David Lawson / WWF-UK

Mountain Gorillas

Number remaining: Around 880

Habitat: high altitude forests in central Africa

Key threats:
• Habitat loss and fragmentation
• Human-wildlife conflict

Image credit: © naturepl.com / Andy Rouse / WWF

Amur leopards

Number remaining: As few as 70

Habitat: temperate forests in the far east of Russia, and north-east China

Key threats:
• Habitat destruction
• Human-wildlife conflict

We can turn it around:
There are around 70 adult Amur leopards in the wild - up from 45 in 2007.

Image credit: © naturepl.com / Lynn M. Stone / WWF

Polar bears

Number remaining: 22,000-31,000

Habitat: the Arctic

Key threats:
• Climate change

Image credit: © Jon Aars / Norwegian Polar Institute / WWF-Canon

Pandas

Number remaining: 1,864

Habitat: mountain forests in south-central China

Key threats:
• Human wildlife conflict
• Climate change

We can turn it around:
There are around 1,860 giant pandas in the wild - nearly 17% more than in 2003.

Image credit: © naturepl.com / Andy Rouse / WWF

African Elephants

Number remaining: Around 415,000

Habitat: Africa

Key threats:
• Poaching
• Human-wildlife conflict
• Climate change

Image credit: © Martin Harvey / WWF

HUMAN IMPACT

Habitat loss

The majority of earth’s land area is now modified by humans. Cause and Effect Habitat loss and fragmentation are the most common causes of decline in species populations.

Water

Increased human pressure threatens natural resources and increases the risk of water and food insecurity. Cause and Effect Nearly 50 countries experienced water stress or water scarcity in 2014, up from just over 30 in 1992.

Climate

Changes in climate and extreme weather events already affect biodiversity across the globe. Cause and Effect On average populations of vertebrate species declined by 58% between 1970 and 2012.

By understanding the impact we’re having and what’s driving it, we are able to seek solutions.

Image credits:
Human impact on tropical forest, Honduras © WWF-Canon / Nigel Dickinson
Fisherman in Acre, Brazil © Edward Parker / WWF Regional
Polar bears © Florian Schulz / visionsofthewild.com / WWF-US
Everything’s connected

We are depleting our natural resources at a faster rate than they can be replenished, putting our own future at risk. We all depend on our planet to provide us with the food, fresh water, clean air and resources we need.

The UK should be leading the way in living more sustainably, but globally we all need to get smarter with our energy, food and freshwater resources.

We can turn it around

WWF is striving to safeguard the natural world, helping people live more sustainably and taking action against climate change - but we can’t do it alone. We work with governments, communities and businesses to help drive the changes needed for a more sustainable future.

Large carnivores in Europe

During the 19th and 20th centuries, many of Europe’s large carnivores declined dramatically in number and distribution, mainly due to humans hunting them and destroying their habitat. But in the last few decades this trend has been reversed. Better legal protection has resulted in species such as the Eurasian lynx either increasing in number or even returning to European regions that they’ve been absent from for decades.

Read more

Large carnivores in Europe

During the 19th and 20th centuries, many of Europe’s large carnivores declined dramatically in number and distribution, mainly due to humans hunting them and destroying their habitat. But in the last few decades this trend has been reversed. Better legal protection has resulted in species such as the Eurasian lynx either increasing in number or even returning to European regions that they’ve been absent from for decades.

Such a comeback shows that with political will, forward-looking laws and a wide range of committed stakeholders, nature can recover.

Through reintroduction projects and livestock protection measures, WWF is working to ensure a future for the Eurasian lynx in the Alps.

COMMUNITY MANGROVE RESTORATION IN MADAGASCAR

Mangroves protect and stabilise coastlines. The role they play is becoming increasingly important as climate change brings more extreme storms. They are also more effective at storing carbon than any other type of forest. But mangroves are disappearing: they’re being cleared for urban and tourism development and felled for fuel and building materials. It’s crucial that we help to restore them.

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COMMUNITY MANGROVE RESTORATION IN MADAGASCAR

Mangroves protect and stabilise coastlines. The role they play is becoming increasingly important as climate change brings more extreme storms. They are also more effective at storing carbon than any other type of forest. But mangroves are disappearing: they’re being cleared for urban and tourism development and felled for fuel and building materials. It’s crucial that we help to restore them.

The world’s most extensive mangrove cover is a 10,000 square kilometre expanse in the river deltas of Kenya, Madagascar, Mozambique and Tanzania. Mangroves are home to a huge variety of wildlife, from birds and land mammals to dugongs, five marine turtle species and many kinds of fish. And much of the economically important prawn harvest along this coast depends on mangroves for safe spawning and nursery grounds.

In the Melaky region on Madagascar’s west coast, local people are taking action to remedy the loss of mangroves, which are crucial to their livelihoods. They’ve planted more than 50,000 mangrove seedlings to restore degraded forests.

WWF is working to develop effective approaches for building resilience in this system and to work with the Malagasy government to incorporate that knowledge into conservation planning.

THE CERRADO

The Cerrado is the largest savannah in Latin America. It covers more than 20% of Brazil and shelters 5% of all the living species on Earth. It’s home to over 10,000 species of plants, almost half of which are found nowhere else in the world. But the Cerrado is also one of the most threatened and over-exploited regions in the world.

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THE CERRADO

The Cerrado is the largest savannah in Latin America. It covers more than 20% of Brazil and shelters 5% of all the living species on Earth. It’s home to over 10,000 species of plants, almost half of which are found nowhere else in the world. But the Cerrado is also one of the most threatened and over-exploited regions in the world.

Unsustainable agriculture – particularly soy production and cattle ranching – as well as burning of vegetation for charcoal, pose a major threat to the Cerrado’s wildlife, including jaguars, maned wolves and giant anteaters. Habitat destruction also threatens the way of life of many indigenous people and other communities who rely on forests, natural grasslands and savannahs for their livelihoods.

In Europe, we rely on soy from the Cerrado to meet increasing demand for meat and dairy products. But if high-income countries ate less animal protein by adopting a more balanced diet, we could reduce the pressure on nature as well as benefiting people’s health.

With less than 3% under legal protection, WWF is working in the Cerrado to protect this unique environment. WWF assisted in the creation of one of the most famous national parks in the centre of Brazil - the Chapada dos Veadeiros National Park, today a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Image credits:
Eurasian Lynx © Staffan Widstrand
Community mangrove restoration in Madagascar © WWF-Madagascar
Dusk over the cerrado © National Geographic Stock / Scott Warren/ WWF

Act now #ForOurPlanet

Our generation has an unprecedented opportunity. Never before have we had such an understanding of our impact on the natural world and the ways to manage it.

We urgently need a united global effort to start putting in place solutions that match the scale of the problem. It’s time for us to choose the future we want.

Sign up and we’ll use your name to show governments across the UK you want them to take ambitious action to protect our environment at home and overseas.

LET’S STAYIN TOUCH

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Image credit: © Bjorn Holland / Getty Images