For 50 years, the population of Earth was reduced by 60% - WWF

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Only a quarter of the world's land area is free from the affects of human activity and by 2050 that will have fallen to just a 10th, the "Living Planet Report 2018" said. "We may also be the last that can act to reverse this trend, from now until 2020 will be decisive moment in history", the report stated.

Globally, nature provides services worth approximately $125 trillion annually and helps ensure the supply of fresh air, clean water, food, energy or medicine.

In Canada, mammal populations dropped by 43 per cent, amphibian and reptile populations dropped by 34 per cent, fish populations dropped by 20 per cent, and some types of birds have lost between 43 and 69 per cent of their populations.

Calling the wildlife and the ecosystem "vital to human life", the current chairman of an intergovernmental panel on biodiversity and world's most eminent environmental scientists said, "destruction of nature is as risky as climate change".

The report claims that in the United Kingdom, hedgehog populations have declined 75 per cent in urban areas between 2002 and 2014, as a result of loss of habitat and vehicle deaths among other factors.

Dr Morné du Plessis, chief executive of WWF South Africa said the organisation was "pushing hard for a new global deal for nature and people to address the crucial questions, including how we feed a growing global population, how we limit global warming below two degrees Celsius and how we restore nature".

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The dominant causes of current biodiversity decline are overexploitation, such as overfishing, and agricultural activity. "In some cases, especially in marine environments, over-exploitation and overuse are the drivers of the decline of these species", he said.

In terms of where has been hit hardest, South and Central America have seen an 89pc drop in vertebrate populations due to the wiping out of areas as large as many capital cities every few months. At the same time, we are shoving many species, plant, and animal, to extinction.

India is one of the worst affected by biodiversity loss even though its per capita global ecological footprint is among the lowest in the world, WWF experts said, commenting on the report's findings.

Canadian wildlife are not exempt from a "global biodiversity crisis" that is devastating worldwide animal populations, according to a stark new report by the World Wildlife Fund. "The decline of species and damage to the natural systems we all depend on will ultimately have negative impacts on our health, societies and economies". It also carries an economic cost that increases as resources become more scarce.

"We are living in time when our continuous need for increased consumption is driving us into an era the scientists are calling the Anthropocene - where humanity is shaping the future of the planet".

"We can be the founders of a global movement that changed our relationship with the planet, that saw us secure a future for all life on Earth, including our own", WWF International Director General Marco Lambertini wrote in the report.