activism conservation environment

A world without wildlife?

Of all the things I’ve written about on the blog, this statistic stands out as one of the most stark: since 1970, the world’s wildlife populations have halved.

1125coralThat’s an extraordinary thought. The figure is from the WWF’s Living Planet Index, and it is derived by monitoring the numbers of over 10,000 different populations. Some of those have declined by a little. Others have been slashed to single figures.

Children today are inheriting a world that is less vibrant, less alive. Non-human neighbours that we might have considered common will be rarer, things that were ordinary will be special. The world will be a poorer place. And the weirdest thing about this decline is that we barely hear about it. It’s not evenly shared across regions or across species, and it has all happened very slowly.

Since it’s under-reported, I was pleased to see the Zoological Society of London using this statistic in their new campaign. Actually it’s good to see this kind of awareness raising from ZSL generally, as they’re claiming this is their ‘first-ever’ campaign.

A world entirely without wildlife might be a bit extreme, not to say impossible, but how far can current trends go? When does the tide turn? And what will it take to turn it?


  1. You pose the question ‘What will it take to turn the tide?’ I’d say, not till humaity prioritises the necessity of a holistic world for a good and worthwhile life.

    But one big issue contributing to preventing any such possibility is, as George Monbiot said on 3rd August, ‘ What is salient is not important. What is important is not salient. The media turns us away from the issues that will determine the course of our lives, and towards topics of brain-melting irrelevance.

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