Global biodiversity has declined

The Global Living Planet Index continues to show around a 30% global decline since 1970
© WWF/ZSL, 2012

The Living Planet Index reflects the overall health of our planet's biodiversity.

It works a bit like a stock exchange index, by tracking average changes in animal populations from around the world.

The Living Planet Index continues to show around a 30 per cent global decline since 1970

  • The 30% decline means that on average, species population sizes were 30% smaller in 2008 than in 1970
  • This decline is seen in all biomes
  • And is highest in freshwater habitats
  • But the trend is not the same all over the world
  • Tropical and temperate regions show starkly divergent trends
  • As do high-income and low- and middle-income countries

Scroll over the map below to see the Living Planet Index in more detail in different habitat types in tropical and temperate areas.
 / ©: WWF/ZSL
Turning population trends into the Living Planet indices. Click on the image to enlarge.


  • Biodiversity
    Shorthand for biological diversity. Variability among living organisms from all sources including terrestrial, marine and other aquatic ecosystems, and the ecological complexes of which they are part; this includes diversity within species, between species and of ecosystems (CBD and UNEP).

    A dynamic complex of plant, animal and micro-organism communities and their non-living environment interacting as a functional unit.

    A major portion of the living environment of a particular region characterized by its distinctive vegetation and maintained by local climatic conditions.

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