The media misunderstood the scientists report.
The report “Living Planet Index”, which refers to the mass extinction of wild animals over the last half century, has become one of the most talked-about events of the end of October.
Written about him thousands of publications, and the majority made the headlines of information that people since 1974 destroyed about 60% of the animals.
However, the publication of the Atlantic read the report and found that journalists quite correctly recounted the content of the work.
First, they drew attention to the fact that specialists have not had the opportunity to explore all types in all regions and on the situation with some types of thought that happens to other (with adjustments for the fact that some species studied are better than others; in some regions more statistics than the other, etc.).
Secondly, the key phrase of the report is the decline in the population of certain wild animals by an average of 60%. To understand it, The Atlantic gives the following example. Let’s say you have 5,000 lions, tigers and 500 bears 50. After 40 years you have 4500 lions, 100 tigers and only 5 bears. The number of lions has decreased by 10%, tigers – 80% and bears up to 90%. On average, this gives a decrease of 60%. But the total number of animals in this scenario was decreased from 5550 to 4605, i.e. 17%. Therefore, from the report we can’t conclude that man has destroyed 60% of the total number of wild animals.
Finally, the report States that the population of the five species, which monitors the “Living Planet Index”, increases and half decreases. This means that the average values of 60%, with many types, the situation is much more serious – like with the tigers and bears from the example in the previous paragraph.
The Atlantic stresses that their explanation does not mean that the situation is not catastrophic extinction of animals and that humans are not to blame in the destruction of wildlife.