The Living Planet Index, a report produced jointly by the Zoological Society of London and WWF has today indicated that global wildlife populations have fallen by 58% between 1970 and 2012.
It goes on to suggest that 67% of wildlife could be wiped out by 2020 if current trends continue.
The biggest impacts on wildlife have been caused by destruction of wild areas for farming and logging. Pollution is also a major cause of the loss of wildlife. According to the report, just 15% of the world's land surface is protected for nature.
If, as expected, we are on the verge of officially recognising the Anthropocene as a geological epoch, its stand-out features will be accelerated climate change and dramatic drops in wildlife numbers, both caused by human activities.
We still have time to change the future. We don't just have to accept the oncoming disaster. Humans have caused the problem, but we have the ability to make things better for the future too. We can act to make our lives more sustainable, so that our lives become more attuned to the natural world, but the change needs to come very soon.
Photo by Alaska Region US Fish & Wildlife Service.