As stated by a new landmark study, human activity has destroyed two-thirds of the world’s wildlife populations since 1970. This kind of steep wildlife population declines have not been seen on Earth for millions of years. The study says that Latin America and the Caribbean are the most hard-hit regions with an average drop of 94% in the wildlife population sizes over the past four decades. “The conversion of grassland, savannah, forest and wetland habitats, the overexploitation of wildlife, the introduction of non-native species and climate change are the key drivers of the drop.”
According to scientific researchers, human activity is the main reason for population decline. In an effort to produce more food to feed a growing human population worldwide, humans have destroyed habitats and devastated species populations. Already humans have significantly altered a shocking 75% of the world’s ice-free land surfaces. “According to WWF [World Wildlife Fund], ecosystem destruction now threatens some 1 million species — 500,000 animals and plants and 500,000 insects — with extinction in the coming decades and centuries.”
Because of the way humans dam rivers and use freshwater resources for increased agricultural production, freshwater ecosystems have shown the most dramatic decline. Scientific researchers maintain that “the populations of freshwater mammals, birds, amphibians, reptiles and fishes monitored have fallen by an average of 4% each year since 1970”. In the process of deforestation and forest fragmentation to increase food production, humans have also allowed the increased poaching of wildlife species for sale on the worldwide market. This increased human contact with wildlife species has exposed humans to more zoonotic diseases. These diseases, which jump from wildlife to humans, such as COVID-19, can also lead to devastating pandemics.
However, humans can help save the world’s wildlife populations by taking birth control and subsequently reducing human population size. By taking birth control and only getting pregnant when you really want to, you can help reduce the severe strain that humans are putting on the planet, it’s resources, and it’s wildlife populations.