THE WORLD WIDE FUND FOR NATURE has published the first-ever global assessment of forest biodiversity, titled "Below the Canopy", which shows that monitored forest-dwelling wildlife populations have shrunk by more than half between 1970 and 2014, the most recent year for which data are available. China Daily writer Zhang Zhouxiang comments:
The UN Environment World Conservation Monitoring Centre co-led the analysis and modeling for the report in collaboration with the Zoological Society of London. The report, which focuses on species that depend entirely on forests, sounds an alarm as the monitored populations of forest-living birds, mammals, amphibians and reptiles declined on average by 53 percent over the 44 monitored years.
The majority of this loss has been in the tropics, where there is the most wildlife to lose. The report highlights the many threats forest-living species are facing, among which habitat loss and degradation, primarily due to human activity, is the biggest threat, with the declines greatest in tropical forests, such as the Amazon rainforest.