Wildlife Populations Plunging

One of 'great extinction episodes in history' unfolding: report
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted May 16, 2008 8:25 AM CDT
Populations of ocean birds, including the albatross, have plummeted by 30% since the mid-1990s.   (AP Photo/U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Hagerty, Ryan )
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(Newser) – Humanity is rapidly wiping out the planet's species, sending wildlife populations plunging, the BBC reports. Pollution, habitat loss, and overfishing have cut wildlife numbers as much as a third since 1970 and wipe out 1% of species each year. One of the "great extinction episodes" in Earth's history also spells serious trouble for humanity, warned the director of the World Wildlife Fund.

"No one can escape the impact of biodiversity loss," he said. "Reduced global diversity translates quite clearly into fewer new medicines, greater vulnerability to natural disasters and greater effects from global warming."