This year’s Living Planet Report shows that populations of animals—including mammals, birds, fish, reptiles, and amphibians—plummeted by 60% between 1970 and 2014. But those living in freshwater are experiencing a far more drastic decline: 83% since 1970. It’s a sobering statistic and one tied directly to the ever-increasing pressures that people are putting on natural habitats.
We can learn a lot about the health of freshwater habitats overall by studying the animals that live in them. If freshwater animals are on the decline, that’s a sign that the entire ecosystem is in trouble. Freshwater habitats face a host of threats, including increases in the amount of water we take from them; drainage of wetlands; pollution from industry, sewage and farms; invasive plant and animal species; climate change; and infrastructure development in and along waterways. Perhaps the most urgent threat to freshwater animals and their homes is the dams, bridges, roads, and
Original Title: An 83% decline of freshwater animals underscores the need to keep rivers connected and flowing
Full Text of the Original Article: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/WWFStories/~3/UBRxdgbm2rA/an-83-decline-of-freshwater-animals-underscores-the-need-to-keep-rivers-connected-and-flowing