Global wildlife populations have seen a 58% decrease since 1970. The Living Planet assessment, by the Zoological Society of London (ZSL) and WWF, suggests that if these trends continue then the decline could reach two-thirds among vertebrates by 2020 – with figures also suggesting that animals which inhabit lakes, rivers and wetlands are suffering the biggest losses. The man cause of these losses is human activity, which includes habitat loss, wildlife trade, pollution and climate change. The Living Planet Report is published every two years and aims to provide an assessment of the state of the world’s wildlife. Dr Barrett states that some groups of animals have fared far worse than others. “We do see particularly strong declines in the freshwater environment – for freshwater species alone, the decline stands at 81% since 1970. This is related to the way water is used and taken out of fresh water systems, and also the fragmentation of freshwater systems through dam building, for example.” It also indicated that other species, such as African elephants, which have suffered huge declines in recent years with an increase in poaching, and sharks, which are threatened by overfishing. Researchers have concluded that vertebrate populations are declining by an average of 2% each year, and warn that if nothing is done wildlife populations could fall by 67% by the end of the decade. Dr Mike Barrett states, “I think now we’ve reached a point there isn’t really an excuse to let this carry on”. We are all aware of the scale of impact human actions are having on nature and on wildlife populations, and therefore, it is our responsibility to resolve these problems and create positive solutions.