The Living Planet Report Canada, published today, is the most comprehensive synthesis of Canadian wildlife population trends ever conducted. It shows that on average from 1970 to 2014, half of monitored vertebrate wildlife species in the study suffered population declines. Of those, average decline is 83 per cent since 1970. The picture is also worrisome for Canada’s federally protected species. Since 2002, when the Species at Risk Act became law, federally listed at-risk wildlife populations declined by 28 per cent, the report shows. Even with protections, the rate of decline for protected at-risk wildlife appears to be increasing to 2.7 per cent per year, compared with 1.7 per cent per year in the period 1970 to 2002.
Mammals: Populations dropped 43 per cent.
Amphibians and reptiles: Populations dropped 34 per cent.
Fish: Populations declined by 20 per cent.
Birds: While some groups of birds are showing signs of recovery, others aren’t faring as well. Monitored populations of grassland birds dropped 69 per cent, aerial insectivores fell 51 per cent, and shorebird populations declined by 43 per cent.
Atlantic region: Atlantic marine fish populations fell 38 per cent.
Central region: Amphibian and reptile populations declined 16 per cent.
Looking just at Lake Ontario, fish populations declined 32 per cent, on average, between 1992 and 2014.
Prairie region: Grassland bird populations declined 55 per cent.
Pacific region: Freshwater populations (birds, mammals, fish, amphibians and reptiles that live in or depend on freshwater ecosystems) declined 14 per cent.
Source: Markets Insider, September 14, 2017