A North Atlantic right whale appears at the surface of Cape Cod bay off the coast of Plymouth, United States on March 28, 2018. A wildlife organization says species that are at risk of global extinction have seen their Canadian populations decline by an average of 42 per cent in the last 50 years. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP, Michael Dwyer

Canadian population of at-risk species declined over last 50 years, WWF says

WWF also called on the government to restore degraded ecosystems

Canadian populations of globally endangered species have declined by 42 per cent on average since 1970, according to a new report from the World Wildlife Fund, and the organization is calling on governments to better protect animals from multiple threats.

James Snider, vice president of science, knowledge and innovation at WWF Canada, said the decline in species populations is a result of five major issues: habitat loss, over-exploitation of commercial species, climate change, pollution and a loss in biodiversity.

He said conservation approaches have generally only tackled one threat at a time, but the dramatic reduction in population shows there needs to be a comprehensive conservation strategy that takes all threats into account.

“We need to recognize that the actions that we take for climate change, for biodiversity, for recovery of species at risk are deeply integrated,” Snider, who co-authored the report, said in an interview.

“We can’t simply be taking an approach to protected areas that’s separate from how we’re tackling climate change, that’s separate from how we’re trying to recover our species at risk. They have to be deeply integrated.”

The WWF study used data representing thousands of wildlife populations from more than 800 species of animals, including mammals, birds, fish, amphibians and reptiles.

It also found that populations of Canadian species that are nationally designated as at-risk had declined by 59 per cent since 1970.

“Ultimately, this is an important moment for us to recognize that biodiversity loss and wildlife loss is occurring in Canada,” said Snider.

In one bright spot, the report found that lands managed by Indigenous populations were better at supporting a diverse range of at-risk species. WWF said the Canadian government must elevate the importance and sovereignty of Indigenous conservation efforts.

The WWF also called on the government to restore degraded ecosystems and create well-sited protected areas to better conserve wildlife populations.

“In Canada, we are not exempt from the global extinction crisis,” said Snider.

“It’s very easy for us to assume that the loss of biodiversity elsewhere in the world isn’t happening here, and the findings of this report shows otherwise: We are seeing significant decline in some of our most imperilled species.”

ALSO READ: ‘Huckleberry’ the bear killed after B.C. residents admit to leaving garbage out for videos

The Canadian Press


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism during the pandemic? Make a donation here.

Wildlife

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Sidney part of a region that suffers ‘chronic shortage’ of daycare spaces

Consultants find that Sidney needs 233 new spaces to meet the current demand for daycare

HMCS Victoria popping up as training sessions underway

MARPAC says plume of smoke normal for recharging submarine

Friday night tickets affect Saturday behaviour at the University of Victoria

Saanich police see direct response after issuing several $230 fines

Thieves harvest from 11 unlocked cars in Oak bay

Looting unlocked cars called ‘farming,’ says deputy chief

West Shore RCMP seeks video footage after homeowner interrupts Colwood break and enter

Police were called to 600-block of Stornoway Drive late Sunday

COVID-19: 4 more deaths, 366 new cases in B.C. since Friday

A total of 8,208 people in B.C. have tested positive for COVID-19 since January

POLL: Do you plan on allowing your children to go trick or treating this year?

This popular annual social time will look quite different this year due to COVID-19

Group wants Parliament, courts to hold social media to same standard as publishers

Daniel Bernhard made the comments shortly after Friends of Canadian Broadcasting released a research paper

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

COVID-19 liquor, music rules extended with fines

‘Nightclubs must cease operating as nightclubs’

Carole James heads ‘caretaker’ B.C. government

James is among 15 MLAs retiring at the end of their current term

B.C.’s Chase Claypool catches first NFL touchdown pass

Abbotsford grad establishes new record for longest scrimmage TD by a Canadian

Most Read