Nearly half of all animal species on earth are declining, according to a study from Queen’s University Belfast (QUB).
The QUB study found that 48 percent of species on earth are suffering from population decline, and only 3 percent of species are seeing their numbers increase.
“The global-scale decline of animal biodiversity (‘defaunation’) represents one of the most alarming consequences of human impacts on the planet,” the study said.
The research also warned that worldwide biodiversity erosion, caused by human industrialization is “significantly more alarming” than previously thought and said it is “one of the most pressing challenges to humanity for the coming decades.”
The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has kept a “red list” of threatened species since 1964 – with a total of 28 percent of species considered to be threatened with extinction.
But the QUB study found that just over 30 percent of animal species on the “red list,” classed by the IUCN as “non threatened,” are actually in decline.
The IUCN says that just over 40 percent of amphibians are threatened with extinction, 27 percent of mammals and 37 percent of sharks and rays.