Conservationists have warned that nature is facing a global “mass extinction” for the first time since the demise of the dinosaurs.

It comes after figures show global wildlife populations are set to fall by more than two thirds on 1970 levels by the end of the decade.

Assessment of 14,152 populations of 3,706 species of mammals, birds, fish, amphibians and reptiles from around the world reveals a 58% fall between 1970 and 2012.

And there is no sign the average 2% drop in numbers each year will slow, says a Living Planet report from the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) and the Zoological Society of London (ZSL).

The report warns that by 2020 populations of vertebrate species could have fallen by 67% over a 50-year period unless action is taken to reverse the damaging impacts of human activity.

African elephants in Tanzania have seen numbers crash due to poaching, while maned wolves in Brazil are threatened by grasslands being turned into farmland… see more

source: skynews