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Every two years the Living Planet Report is collected for the WWF with indicators from the Zoological Society of London, and tracks nearly 17,000 populations of 4,000 vertebrate species to establish "trends in global biodiversity and the health of the planet".

Dr Sam Gardner, acting director of WWF Scotland, said: "The same sad story is to be seen played out across Scotland, where habitat loss and climate change are combining to threaten our precious wildlife". South and Central America are among the worst-hit areas, with animal species declining by 89 percent over the last five decades and freshwater species by 83 percent.

According to the Living Planet Report 2018, only a quarter of the world's land area remains free from the impacts of human activity, a figure that is expected to fall to just a tenth by 2050.

Over recent decades, human activity has also severely impacted the habitats and natural resources wildlife and humanity depend on, such as oceans, forests, coral reefs like our Great Barrier Reef, wetlands and mangroves. The welfare of up to 3 billion people who rely on wildlife to eat and work has reduced because of land degradation, and services relying on nature are worth around $125 trillion globally, the report said.

"Earth is losing biodiversity at a rate seen only during mass extinctions", say WWF's Living Planet Report authors.

Vox offers a note of caution when reading the data, clarifying that a 60 percent decline in many populations' sizes does not mean a loss of 60 percent of total animals.

World's tallest statue unveiled in India
The project also includes a memorial park at the base of the statue, a visitor facilitation centre and a reception desk. The statue, which will be dedicated to the nation, has received opposition from some tribal groups in Narmada district.

Conservationists have issued a demand for urgent global action after a major report uncovered an unprecedented crisis in nature that threatens to devastate the world economy and imperil humanity itself.

"It is a classic example of where the disappearance is the result of our own consumption, because the deforestation is being driven by ever expanding agriculture producing soy, which is being exported to countries including the United Kingdom to feed pigs and chickens", Barrett said. The UK itself has lost much of its wildlife, ranking 189th for biodiversity loss out of 218 nations in 2016. It is rivers and lakes where the damage is being felt the most, where populations of wildlife have fallen by as much as 83pc. It said humans are "pushing the planet to the brink" and taking "an unprecedented toll on wildlife". "They all tell you the same story", said Barrett.

The 14th Conference of the Parties (COP) to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) will be held in Egypt in November and will be, according to WWF, a "key" moment to lay the foundations of a global agreement for nature, "as was done for the climate in Paris in 2015", the report said.

In the words of Marco Lambertini, Director General of WWF International, "Today, we still have a choice". "This really is the last chance".

Just as the WWF report was released China has announced a decision to partially reverse a ban on the trade of tiger bones and rhino horn. "We have to get it right this time".


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