issues and experts

WWF report shows drastic decline in world’s wildlife population

September 11, 2020


Arne Mooers, professor, Biological Sciences


Expertise: biodiversity, phylogeny, evolution.

Dan Greenberg, researcher, Biological Sciences,

Expertise: comparative biology, macroecology, conservation biology with a focus on amphibians.

Shradhha Sharma; University Communications and Marketing, 604.202.2504,


A new report published by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) shows global wildlife population has plummeted by two-thirds in less than 50 years. The report cites an average 68 percent drop in more than 20,000 animal populations since 1970.

Amid the high growth in the world’s human population, global trade and consumption, the WWF’s Living Planet Report 2020 analyzed the populations of mammals, birds, fish, amphibians and reptiles and found a dramatic decline in monitored animal species from 1970 to 2016. Human activities and the loss of habitat are among key factors driving this decline.

The United Nations Office for Sustainable Development is also expected to release its latest global nature assessment on Tuesday.

Simon Fraser University Department of Biology’s Prof. Arne Mooers is available to speak on the report and the global wildlife’s rapid decline. He has studied the extinction risks posed to various species over the past few decades, including a 2019 study forecasting a higher than anticipated bird extinction risk. Mooers can also speak to how we can protect biodiversity in British Columbia. Dan Greenberg is an SFU alumnus, who continues to work with Mooers and researchers at SFU studying these data and can also be available for comment.

About Simon Fraser University: 

As Canada’s engaged university, SFU works with communities, organizations and partners to create, share and embrace knowledge that improves life and generates real change. We deliver a world-class education with lifelong value that shapes change-makers, visionaries and problem-solvers. We connect research and innovation to entrepreneurship and industry to deliver sustainable, relevant solutions to today’s problems. With campuses in British Columbia’s three largest cities – Vancouver, Burnaby and Surrey – SFU has eight faculties that deliver 193 undergraduate degree programs and 127 graduate degree programs to more than 35,000 students. The university now boasts more than 160,000 alumni residing in 143 countries.