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Latin America is the most affected with a collapse of 94% of wildlife since 1970

The world lost more than two-thirds of vertebrates in less than 50 years and the tropical areas of Central and South America are the most affected with a collapse of 94%, according to a report by the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF). The human activity generated by the consumer society also degraded three-quarters of the land and 40% of the oceans. Specifically, deforestation and agricultural expansion are key to explaining the disappearance of 68% of vertebrates between 1970 and 2016, indicates the 13th edition of the Living Planet Index published this Thursday. The report, prepared every two years by WWF International in collaboration with the Zoological Society of London, it also warns of the risk of future pandemics, as man extends his presence and comes into contact with wild animals. "For 30 years, we have been following this decline (in biodiversity), which is accelerating. We continue to go in the wrong direction," said WWF Director General Marco Lambertini. "In 2016, we documented a decrease of 60%, now 70%", a period that represents "the blink of an eye compared to the millions of years that many species have lived on the planet," said Lambertini. The main cause of this loss of biodiversity island modification, especially when industry converts forests into farms or farms, destroying the habitat of wild animals. To this, invasive species and pollution are added. In total, a third of the earth's surface and three-quarters of freshwater resources are now dedicated to producing food. In the oceans, 75% of fish stocks are also overexploited. Although global, this scourge is more acute in certain regions. Thus, in the tropical areas of Central and South America, the loss is almost absolute, 94%, especially for amphibians, reptiles, and fish, due to a "cocktail" of factors, such as overexploitation and energy development. hydroelectric, which "severely impacts fish stocks" and is expected to pose "a greater threat in the future." The Index also warns that disease is the main danger to amphibians. For example, in Panama the fungus responsible for chytridiomycosis (an infectious disease) caused "massive mortality", causing the disappearance of 30 species. "It's overwhelming. An indicator of our impact on nature," Lambertini said. The new Index was published in conjunction with a study by more than 40 academic institutions and NGOs, which lists ways to curb and reverse losses caused by human consumption. The research, published in the journal Nature, argues that reducing food waste and promoting healthier and more environmentally friendly diets could "bend the curve" of this degradation.

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