Declines of Species

Large Wild Herbivores May Help Slow Climate Change 1222 - By removing living and dead plants, large animals dispose of material that may fuel wildfires.  By consuming vegetation and excreting dung, they may improve availability of nutrients to plants and support the storage of carbon in vegetation and soil.  By creating gaps in the vegetation and dispersing seeds, they create diverse ecosystems with plenty of opportunities for a variety of plants to grow, making ecosystems more resilient and better able to deal with climate change.  By nibbling down polar region shrubs and trampling snow, large animals help maintain permafrost, helping prevent the release of carbon to the atmosphere.

2021-2022 Articles

The Collapse of Insects 1222 - Insects number 2/3 of animal species.  They pollinate more than 75% of global crops, a service valued at up to $577 billion per year.  80% of wild plants rely on insects for pollination.  The world has lost 5% to 10% of all insect species in the last 150 years.  Insect abundance is declining around 1% to 2% per year.  At that rate, we would lose 33 to 55% of all insect species in 40 years.  Looks at bees, butterflies and moths, beetles, and freshwater insects.  They are at the base of many food webs.

Frogs vs. Climate Change - How Long Can They Stand the Heat? 1122

Alaska Cancels Snow Crab Season amid Population Declines 1022

Marine Heat Waves Could Wipe Out Fish Stocks 1022

Wildlife Is Recovering in Europe After Decades of Conservation 0922

Mass Death of Sequoias Is the Harbinger of Earth Systems Collapse 0822

Climate Change Likely Caused Alaska Snow Crab Decline 0622

Climate Change Threatens Bird Populations in National Wildlife Refuge System 0622

Winter Ticks Wiped Out Nearly 90% of Moose Calves in Part of Maine in 2021 - 0522

As Animal Seed Dispersers Go the Way of the Dodo, Forest Plants Are at Risk 0422

Climate Change, Big Agriculture Combine to Threaten Insects 0422

Climate Change Killing Off Biocrusts, Soil Organisms Critical to Arid Ecosystems 0422 - especially lichens

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Even the Cactus May Not Be Safe from Climate Change 0422

Salmon Travel Deep into the Pacific.  As It Warms, Many ‘Don’t Come Back.’ 0322

Drought, Climate Change Will Worsen Human Conflicts with Elephants 0222

Plants Face Tough Climate Challenges as Seed-Dispersing Animals Decline 0222

Climate Change Adaptation Puts Patagonian Penguins in Peril 0122

How the Speed of Climate Change Is Unbalancing the Insect World 0122

We Saved the Puffins.  Now a Warming Planet Is Unraveling that Work. 0122

Warmer, Oxygen-Poor Waters Threaten World’s ‘Most Heavily Exploited’ Fish 0122

Climate Crisis Pushes Albatross ‘Divorce’ Rates Higher 1121

Rising Temperatures Overcook Bumblebees' Brunch 1121 - Microbe growth in nectar speeds up with warmer temperatures. Bumblebees prefer intermediate levels of microbes in nectar.

Silent Earth - Averting the Insect Apocalypse 1121

Maine Bird Species May Become Extinct in Our Lifetime as Climate Warms 1121

Wildlife and Plant Species Decline 'a Crisis' 0921

Polar Bears Are Inbreeding, as Climate Change Melts Away Arctic Ice 0921

What Happens when Millions – or Billions – of Sea Animals Die on One Day? 0821

Montana’s Famed Trout under Threat as Drought Intensifies 0721

Extreme Heat Triggers Mass Die-Offs and Stress for Wildlife in the West 0721

Fighting to Save, Kelp Forests,  the Ocean’s Most Important Carbon Capture System 0721

Lakes Are Losing Oxygen—and Their Inhabitants Are in Danger 0621

As Climate Warms, a Rearrangement of World’s Plant Life Looms 0621

Shrinking Sea Meadows Store More Carbon than Forests.  How Much Is Left? 0421

Polar Bears Forced to Forage Bird Eggs as Warming Shrinks Hunting Grounds 0421Global Warming Disrupted Pacific’s Ecological Dance of Urchins, Sea Stars, Kelp.  Otters Help Restore Balance. 0321

‘There's no ice’ - Warming Seas Chill Quebec’s Seal Tourism 0321

Warming Oceans Mean Smaller Baby Sharks Struggle to Survive 0321

Arctic Ice Loss Forces Polar Bears to Use 4 X as Much Energy to Survive 0221

More Problems Reported as Gulf of St. Lawrence Continues to Warm 0221 - impacts on scallops

Canada Jay Numbers in South Ontario Falling due to Climate Change 0221

Science Warns World of ‘Ghastly’ Future Ahead 0121

Climate Change Cuts Number of Humpback Whale Calves in North-West Atlantic 0121

Insect Populations Suffering Death by 1,000 Cuts 0121

Warming Oceans May Be Choking Off Oxygen to Starfish, ‘Drowning’ Them 0121

Growth Rings in Tundra Shrubs Reveals Spread of Arctic `Browning’ alongside 'Greening' 0121

Koala Mittens and Baby Bottles - Saving Australia’s Animals After Fires 0120

Climate Change Hitting Top U.S. Fishery in the Arctic - NOAA 1219

In Sweden’s Arctic, Ice atop Snow Leaves Reindeer Starving 1219

Munich Study Confirms Severe Decline in Insect Populations of Germany 1019

Emaciated Grizzly Bears in Canada Increase Concerns over Depleted Salmon Population 1019

Warming Climate Is Making Baby Sea Turtles Almost All Girls 1019

Climate Change Is Sapping Nutrients from Our Food, so Global Crisis Possible 0819

North America Has Lost 3 Billion Birds (29%) in 50 Years 0919

Climate Change Is Reducing Mating Behavior among Some Birds 0919

How Long Before These Salmon Are Gone?  ‘Maybe 20 Years’ 0919 - to local extinction?

The Water Is So Hot in Alaska, It's Killing Large Numbers of Salmon 0819

More Right Whales Dying Off Canada, as Climate Change Disrupts Food Sources 0819

Extreme Weather Damaged Nearly Half Australia's Marine Ecosystems since 2011 - 0719

Many Animals Can’t Adapt Fast Enough to Climate Change 0719

The Return of the Caribou 0719

Warmer Waters, Less Oxygen, Threaten Large Invertebrates in the Arctic 0619

Warming May Reduce Sea Life 17% - 0619

Arctic Melt - Threat to Plankton beneath the Ice 0619

The Great Insect Dying - Vanishing Act in Europe and North America 0619

Climate Change Threatens to Water Down Brazilian Cerrado’s Rich Biodiversity 0619

100s of Puffins Are Starving to Death because of Climate Change 0519

Global Warming Is Hitting Ocean Species Hardest, Including Fish for Food 0419

Warming Seas Are Devastating to Dolphin Survival 0419

Global Warming Could Decimate Fish Supplies and Fuel Migration 0219

Current Massive Insect Decline Could Have ‘Catastrophic' Environmental Impact 0219

Massive Starfish Die-Off Tied to Global Warming Devastates Kelp Forests 0119Insect Collapse - ‘We Are Destroying Our Life Support Systems’ 0119

Climate Change Could Crash These Important Fisheries 1118

Biodiversity Collapse Imminent in World’s Tropics 1118

'So Many Bears' - Draft Plan Says Nunavut Polar Bear Numbers Unsafe 1118

Humanity Has Wiped Out 60% of Animal Populations since 1970 - 1018 - WWF update from 50% (2014) and 30% (2008)

‘Hyper-Alarming’ Study Shows Massive Insect Loss 1018

Climate Change Is Killing Antarctica's Ancient Moss Beds 0918

Study Finds Widespread Degradation, Deforestation in African Woodlands 0818

Sweden's Reindeer at Risk of Starvation after Summer Drought 0818

Turn Up The Heat, Turn Down Ocean Productivity 0518

Biomass Study Finds People Are Wiping Out Wild Mammals 0518

Honeybees May Be Dying in Larger Numbers due to Climate Change 0518 compounding other factors (mites, pesticides)

Climate Change on Track to Cause Major Insect Wipeout, Scientists Warn 0518

Dangerous Biodiversity Decline Threatens Livelihoods, Food and Water Security 0318

Marine Heat Wave Set Off 'Carbon Bomb' in World's Largest Seagrass Meadow 0318

In Iceland, Global Warming Is No Longer a Joke 0318

Almost All Sea Turtles Born in Florida Are Female.  Here’s Likely Why. 0318

Antarctica's King Penguins 'Could Disappear' by 2100 - 0218

Seagrass Meadows Are Vital, but in Serious Decline 0218

Decline in Krill Threatens Antarctic Wildlife, from Whales to Penguins 0218

Warm-Weather Plague Killed over Half of Endangered Saiga Antelopes in 3 Weeks 0118

Australia's Severe Heat Is Affecting the Sperm of the Bird Population 0118

Living Planet Repot Update - WWF 0914 - PDF, 180 pp.  update of 2012 report farther below

     The global Living Planet Index (LPI) reveals a continual decline in vertebrate populations over the last 40 years. This global trend shows no sign of slowing down.  For this 10th edition of the Living Planet Report, the LPI methodology has been updated and fine-tuned to give a better representation of the global distribution of vertebrate species.
    The weighted LPI (LPI-D) shows that the size of populations (the number of individual animals) decreased by 52% from 1970 to 2010.  This 52% includes 56% declines in tropical populations and 36% in temperate zone populationss.  It includes 39% declines for terrestrial species populations, 76% for fresh water ones, and 39% for marine ones.  Populations in protected areas declined only 18%.
    For terrestrial species, habitat loss to human land use – notably agriculture, cities and energy – is the major threat.  For freshwater ones, habitat loss and fragmentation, connectivity (water level changes from dams, irrigation, etc.), pollution, and invasive species are the threats.  For marine ones, stability followed a steep drop to till the mid-80s, with the largest declines in the tropics and Southern Ocean.

    This is a steeper decline than the 28% reported in the previous edition, when data from North America and Europe  – where long-term trend information has been more readily available –  dominated the global LPI.

     The LPI is calculated using trends in 10,380 populations of over 3,038 vertebrate species (fishes, amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals).  These species groups have been comprehensively researched and monitored by scientists and the general public for many years, meaning that a lot of data is available to assess the state of specific populations and their trends over time.

2016-2017 Articles

The Impact of Global Warming in the Land of Santa Claus 1217

Disappearing Sea Ice Could Lead to Collapse of Vital Polar Food Chain 1217

Changes to the Ocean’s Micro Creatures Could Have Macro Effects 1117

As Oceans Warm, the World’s Kelp Forests Begin to Disappear 1117

Pacific Ocean Warm ‘Blob’ Appears to Take Toll on Alaska Cod 1117

Arctic Sea Change 1017

Insect Numbers, in Dramatic Plunge, Portends 'Ecological Armageddon' 1017

As Seas Warm, Whales Face New Dangers 1017

Warming Planet Is Hazard to Fish, via Increased Salinity and Algal Blooms 0917

Warming Seas Endanger Antarctic Ecosystem, and Billion-Dollar Fishing Industry 0717

Global Warming Threatens North Carolina's Bees 0717

Threat of Moose-Killing Tick Infestation Looms, as Far-North Climate Warms 0517

Climate Change Could Drive Coastal Food Webs to Collapse 0417

How "Godzilla" El Niño Affected Tropical Fish in Low-Oxygen Zone 0417

Disastrous 2016 Shows Butterflies Are ‘Failing to Cope' with Climate Change 0417

More than 1/4 of UK Birds Face Extinction Risk or Steep Decline 0417 - turtle dove and Atlantic puffin included

Climate Change Impacting ‘Most’ Species on Earth, Down to Their Genomes 0417

Climate-Driven Species on the Move Are Changing (Almost) Everything 0417

Grassland Lab Warming Raises Species Loss Alarm 0317

Australian Mangrove Forest over 1000 Kilometers ‘Died of Thirst' 0317

Ticks, Thriving in Warm Weather, Take a Ghastly Toll on New England Moose 0117

Record-Breaking Extreme Weather in Australia in 2016 Devastates Ecosystems 0117

Climate Change Could Have Devastating Impact on Global Fisheries 1216

In the Polar Bear Capital of the World, the Snow Has Gone 1216

Polar Bear Numbers to Plunge by 1/3, as Sea Ice Melts 1216

Over 80,000 Reindeer Deaths In Russia Linked to Retreating Arctic Sea Ice 1116

Wildlife Populations Plunge Almost 60% since 1970 - WWF 1016

San Francisco Bay Ecosystem Collapsing, as Rivers Diverted 1016

1.5 Billion Birds Missing from North American Skies Is ‘Alarming’ 0916

Turning up the Heat to Push Many Australian Plants to the Brink 0916

Soaring Ocean Temperature Is ‘Greatest Hidden Challenge of Our Generation' 0916

All Aflutter - Extreme Weather Threatens Mexico's Monarch Butterflies 0816

Arctic Fish Populations Changing as Ice Dwindles 0816

The Blob - How Marine Heat Waves Are Causing Unprecedented Climate Chaos 0816

Mountain Biodiversity More Vulnerable to Climate Change than Earlier Reported 0816

World’s Longest Lake Is Being Depleted of Life as Waters Warm 0816

Wildlife Dying En Masse, as South American River Runs Dry 0716 - Pilcomayo in Paraguay, Bolivia

Sections of Great Barrier Reef Suffer Complete Ecosystem Collapse 0716 - Most fish populations plummet or vanish.

Climate Change Blamed for Mangrove Deaths 0716 along Australia’s northern coast

Ocean Warming due to Plankton Collapse 0616

The Quest to Protect Threatened Amphibian Species 0516 1/3 of amphibian species threatened; 160 already disappeared.

Climate Change and the Case of the Shrinking Red Knot Birds 0516

Polar Bears Losing Weight as Arctic Sea Ice Melts 0416

Is Climate Change Putting the World's Micro-Biomes at Risk? 0316

Climate vs. Primate - Dawn of Extinction? 0316

Chilean Salmon under Threat 0316

Scotland’s Native Insects at Severe Risk from Climate Change 0216

Climate Stirring Change beneath the Waves 0216

Decline in Bee Population is Putting Global Food Industry at Risk 0216

Scientists Link Massive Starfish Die-off to Warming Ocean 0216

'Major Decline' in Antarctic Penguin Population 0216

US Seafood Species Are Highly Vulnerable to Climate Change 0216

Phytoplankton Rapidly Disappearing from the Indian Ocean 0216

Warmer Indian Ocean Could Be 'Ecological Desert', Scientists Warn 0116 - Phytoplankton down up to 20%.

Pacific Shellfish Set for Price Hike, as Ocean Acidity Keeps Rising 0116

Starvation Suspected in Massive Die-off of Alaska Seabirds 0116

Dealing with Climate Change in Costa Rica's Monteverde Cloud Forest 0116

2014-2015 Articles

Failing Phytoplankton, Failing Oxygen - Global Warming Could Suffocate Life on Earth 1215

US Wild Bee Numbers Decline, as Land Is Converted for Biofuel 1215

3/4 of the UK Butterfly Species Have Declined in the Last 40 Years 1215

Fish Stocks Are Declining Worldwide; Climate Change Is on the Hook 1215

Polar Bear Numbers to Fall, as Arctic Ice Shrinks 1115

Indonesia Blazes Threaten Endangered Orangutans 1115

Abrupt Changes in Food Chains Predicted as Southern Ocean Acidifies Fast 1115

Collapse of New England’s Iconic Cod Tied to Climate Change 1015

Global Warming Puts Snow Leopards in a Bind 1015

Acorn Crop Dips as Climate Changes 1015

Warming Oceans May Threaten Krill, Cornerstone of the Antarctic Ecosystem 1015

Marine Population Halved since 1970 - 0915

Thousands of Salmon Die in Hotter-than-Usual Northwest Rivers 0715

Polar Bears Can't Adapt to Melting Arctic, Will Waste Away 0715

Tough Days for Salmon, as Fraser River Runs Hotter, Lower than Expected 0715

Polar Bears Face Steep Declines Because of Melting Sea Ice 0715

Climate Change Is Latest Threat for Struggling Bird Species – Red Knots 0615

Fish, Crabs Are Losing Homes as Oceans Lose Oxygen 0615

North American Moose Dying in Droves, as Warming Fuels Disease, Pests 0515

Climate Change Is Devastating Ohio's Beloved Birds 0515

Wild Animals in Drought-Stricken Western States Are Dying for a Drink 0515

Wildlife Decline May Lead to ‘Empty Landscape' 0515

History Lessons Highlight Climate Threat to Birds 0415 - population ebbs and flows over 2 million years

Out of Plaice - Popular UK Fish at Risk from Rising Temperatures 0415

Beyond Almonds - a Rogue's Gallery of Guzzlers In California's Drought 0415

Hunters See Climate Changing Their Traditions 0415

Lemurs Losing Their Land to Climate Change 0215

California Sea Lion Crisis - Warmer Seas May Be to Blame 0215

Decreasing Range of California Pikas Linked to Climate Change 0215

Poor Outlook for Borneo's Mammals 0115

Mass Die-offs of Fish, Birds, Mammals Increasing 0115

Climate Change May Halve Giant Panda's Habitat by 2070 - 0115

Scientists Track Natural Responses to Climate Change 0115

Climate Changes, Habitat Loss Cited as Threats to 314 Bird Species 1214

Higher Temperatures May Result in Fewer Bees 1114

Britain's Migrating Birds Are Drastically Declining 1014

World Wildlife Populations Halved in 40 Years 0914 - about update of 2012 WWF report, just below

Common UK Birds, such as Sparrow and Skylark, Face Decline in Europe 1114

Half of North American Bird Species Threatened by Climate Change 0914

Massive Deaths in Northern Seabird Colonies Are Due to Climate, Ocean Changes 0814

Built for Survival, Birds Are in Trouble from Pole to Pole, from Toxins and Heat 0814

Suburbs, Farms, Plus Global Warming Threaten Wild Animals and Plants 0814

Wading Birds Declining in the UK 0714

Antarctic Fur Seals Feel Climate Impacts 0714

Growth, Global Warming Threaten African Species 0714

Warming Threat to Emperor Penguins 0614

Acid Ocean Is Dissolving Pteropod (Tiny Snail) Shells off U.S. West Coast 0414

Over 3/4 of Large Carnivores Are Now in Decline 0114

2013 Articles and earlier

Predatory Development Threatens Brazil's Amazon - Marina Silva 1113

Jellyfish Winning the Fight for Food - Against Humans 1113

Climate Change Biggest Threat to Deer, Moose 1113

Precarious Future Looms for Canada’s Great Inland Delta 1113

Army of Volunteers Compiles Evidence of Climate Change in Alaska 1113

Climate Change Is Killing the Wolves of Isle Royale 1013

Warming Bolsters Alberta Grizzlies 1013

Moose Die-Off Alarms Scientists 1013

UK's Natural Environment in Jeopardy, as Species Decline 1013

Koalas Face Huge Fall in Numbers as Climate Change Bites 1013

Warming Lake Superior Leaves Trout Less Able to Cope 1013

Climate Change Puts US Freshwater Fish at Risk 0913

78% Drop in Coastal Fish Over 40 Years Off California 0713

Evolution Too Slow to Keep Up with Climate Change 0713

Birds Outpace Climate Change to Avoid Extinction 0713 

Common Plants, Animals Threatened by Climate Change 0513 

Amazon on Path to Lose 65% of Biomass by 2060 - 0513

Painted Turtles Set to Become All Female, Extinct 0513

Monarch Butterflies Drop Ominously in Mexico 0313

Climate Change a Threat to Wildlife 0113

Caribou Populations in Steep Decline 1212 

Marine Heat Wave Off West Australian Coast Kills Lots of Valuable Shelled Seafood 1212 

UK Birds Down 20% Since 1966 1112

Climate Change Is Killing Ground Squirrels 0812

Intense New England Rains Imperil Gulf of Maine’s Food Chain 0612

Warming Makes Minnesota Moose Population Plummet 0512 

Climate Changing Outlook for Harp Seals 0112

World's Ocean Life in Shocking Decline 0611

Heated Oceans Endanger Coral Reefs 0910

Bee Population Decline May Be Due to Warming 0910 

More Bird Population Destruction Predicted with Warming 0810  

Rapid Decline in Phytoplankton 0710

Mangroves Disappear Faster Than Land Forests 0710 

Polar Bears Face Rapid Tipping Point 0510 

Bio-Losses = 30% Animals, etc. Cost $121 Trillion 0510

Bio-losses = 30% Animals, 40% Corals 0510 - "Since 1970, we have reduced animal populations by 30%, the area of mangroves and seagrasses by 20%, and the coverage of living corals by 40%…  These losses are clearly unsustainable."

Ocean Dead Zone Off Oregon Blamed on Climate Change 1009

North Sea Cod Doomed 0909

Why Monarch Butterfly Numbers Are in Freefall 0713

updated from Brower et al., Insect Conser. & Diver., 5, 95, 2011

Living Planet Report - Biodiversity & Declines - WWF 2012 - PDF, 164 pp.

Wild Populations Down 30% Since 1970 0512 - Report Summary

Population changes for a few of more than 11,000 populations and species studied, around the world.  See 2014 update, above.


These figures summarize thousands of species declines (and increases) across regions.

India, Pakistan, SE China, SE Asia, Australia +.

Neotropical is Latin America.

The Global Living Planet Index suggests that across the globe, vertebrate populations were on average 28% smaller in 2008 than they were in 1970. This is based on trends in the size of 9,014 populations of 2,688 mammal, bird, reptile, amphibian and fish species – many more than in previous editions of the Living Planet Report (WWF, 2006b; 2008b; 2010a).  Above, declines were greatest in tropics.

Shading on this, and all Living Planet Index figures represents the 95% confidence limits surrounding the trend; the wider the shading, the more variable the underlying trend (WWF/ZSL, 2012).

Section Map: Bio Impacts