As much as we tried to focus on the positives for our 2020 news wrap, we could not help but end on a sombre note. While our pets & animal companions continued to break barriers & get closer to us, we humans raced against time to destroy every aspect of nature that we came in contact with
A new report by the WWF & Zoological Society of London (ZSL) showed that global populations of mammals, birds, fish, amphibians & reptiles plunged by 68% between 1970-2016. Just two years ago, the figure stood at 60%
The pandemic itself was a symptom of the ecological imbalance being caused by us. A lot of species are going extinct, while those that survive — such as rats, bats — are likelier to host potentially dangerous pathogens that can make the jump to humans (zoonotic diseases). Covid-19 is suspected to have started due to the novel coronavirus jumping from bats to us
Sadly, this fear of the spread of zoonotic diseases, is driving humans to destroy wildlife at an even faster rate. When Danish scientists suspected a new Covid-19 virus strain could jump from minks (pets in some places, farmed for fur in others), our solution was to cull them in millions to stop it, even when there was no scientific consensus for the move. Similar fate is being forced upon Badgers in the UK, being culled to stop the spread of Bovine-TB, even when there is no evidence that it has helped
Wildfires at a scale never seen before, became common in California, & parts of Brazil, Australia. When a Chinese county was unable to prevent people getting bitten by unleashed dogs, they banned dog walking altogether, implementing a three strike rule after which the dog is to be apprehended by authorities & killed.
Perhaps Tanya Steele, chief exec at WWF summed it best: “We are wiping wildlife from the face of the planet, burning our forests, polluting & overfishing our seas & destroying wild areas. We are wrecking our world – the one place we call home – risking our health, security & survival here on Earth”