Biodiversity: Land vs Water
The decline is greatest for freshwater species, whose populations show an average 37 per cent decline. The tropical freshwater index declined even more precipitously, by 70 per cent.
Overall, the global tropical index declined by 60 per cent since 1970. In contrast, the index for temperate regions increased by 31 per cent over the same period. (see figure on right)
However, this does not necessarily mean that temperate biodiversity is in a better state than tropical biodiversity, as the temperate index disguises huge historical losses prior to the start of the analysis.
(The animal populations tracked by the global Living Planet Index can be divided according to their habitat type – terrestrial, freshwater or marine.)