WWF: Two-thirds of the world’s wildlife may be extinct by 2020

African elephant Iringa at the ARK 2000 captive wildlife sanctuary in San Andreas, Calif. (AP photo)
African elephant Iringa at the ARK 2000 captive wildlife sanctuary in San Andreas, Calif. (AP photo)

GLAND, Switzerland (WCMH) — If there isn’t something done, more than two thirds of the world’s wildlife could be gone, according to the World Wildlife Fund.

According to the WWF’s latest bi-annual Living Planet Index, there has been a 58 percent overall decline in the numbers of fish, mammals, birds and reptiles since 1970.

“This is definitely human impact, we’re in the sixth mass extinction. There’s only been five before this and we’re definitely in the sixth,” WWF conservation scientist Martin Taylor told CNN.

The numbers point to a wildlife that is vanishing at a rate of two percent a year, if accurate.

The report cites habitat loss, the over use of resources, pollution and climate change as a cause of the extinction.

Elephants are one of the animals mentioned in the report that could be gone in just over three years. Sharks and rays are also on the list because of overfishing. Taylor tells CNN these extinctions mean a threat to humanity as well.

“Governments (need) to take action to halt the slow death of the planet because it isn’t just affecting wild species it’s affecting us too. This is a threat to our future as a species, what we’re doing to the planet,” he said.

“We only have one planet if we screw it up then we’re gone.”

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