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‘Terror being waged on wildlife’, leaders warn

Over 80% of all mammals and half of plants are thought to have been lost since the rise of human 'civilisation'.

DAMIAN CARRINGTON: ‘Humanity is waging a war of terror on wildlife across the globe, according to the head of a world-leading research institute who was previously a counter-terrorism expert for the UK government… “While war and terror atrocities make daily headlines, the horrors being waged on wildlife slide under the radar,” said… Dominic Jermey, director general of the Zoological Society of London (ZSL), whi also spent years in Afghanistan supporting the fight against terror…

Illegal hunting and the destruction of wild habitat has resulted in the start of what many scientists consider the sixth mass extinction of life to occur in the Earth’s four-billion-year history. Over 80% of all mammals and half of plants are thought to have been lost since the rise of human civilisation.

Wildlife crime harms both people and animals, said Jermey: “The annihilation of wildlife by organised criminal gangs is violent, bloody, corrupt and insidious. It robs communities of their resources, their independence, their opportunities and their dignity. And we are all losers as the creatures with which we share this planet are pillaged to extinction.” One hundred million sharks are killed every year, mostly for their fins, and 20,000 African elephants for their ivory, he said.

Losses have been greatest in recent decades, Jermey said, with a 58% decline in wildlife since 1970: “That’s like losing the entire [human] population of Asia from the world.” The London gathering of leaders is a critical opportunity, he said: “This is our moment for action”.’ SOURCE…

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