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New Delhi, October 27, 2016: The future of many living organisms is under question as the world may lose 68 percent of its wildlife by 2020 — a possible prelude for the sixth mass extinction, a major WWF report has said.

According to the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF)-Living Plant Report 2016, 58 percent of the global population of fish, birds, mammals, amphibians and reptiles has already been lost between 1970 and 2012.


These patterns are directly attributed to human-induced climate change.

The report says that about 41 per cent mammals, 46 per cent reptiles, 57 per cent amphibians and 70 per cent freshwater fishes are “threatened with extinction” in India. Four of the 385 species of mammals are already extinct in India.

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Seven per cent of birds may also extinct in the world.

Globally between 1970 and 2012, 38 percent of the terrestrial population, 81 percent of fresh water population and 36 per cent of the marine population had declined.

“Habitat loss and degradation and over-exploitation of wildlife are the most common threats to the terrestrial population,” the report says.

As per the report, by 2000, 48.5 percent of the tropical and subtropical dry broadleaf forest habitat had been converted for human use. This has led to a 41 percent overall decline in tropical forest species.

The report held food production to meet the complex demands of an expanding human population as the primary reason for the destruction of habitats and over-exploitation of wildlife.

The world’s population has grown from about 1.6 billion people in 1900 to today’s 7.3 billion.

“By 2012, the bio-capacity equivalent of 1.6 Earths was needed to provide the natural resources and services humanity consumed in that year,” the report said, pointing out how planetary boundaries were stretched due to human-produced alterations to the functioning of the Earth system.

WWF focused on nine such alterations including unsustainable fresh water use and ocean acidification. As per studies, by 2050 there will be more polythene in the ocean than fish.

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“This is not just about the wonderful species we all love. Biodiversity forms the foundation of healthy forests, rivers and oceans. Take away the species and these ecosystems will collapse along with the clean air, water, food and climate services that they provide us,” said Dr Marco Lambertini, International Director General, WWF.

The researchers are already calling this time as “Anthropocene” — an era during which the climate changes, oceans acidify and the entire community of flora and fauna disappears — during a single human lifetime.

All these changes may lead to the world’s sixth extinction, following the extinction of reptiles, mammals (twice) and dinosaurs (twice).

As per IUCN, the total threatened animal species has increased from 5,205 to 8,462 since 1996. India, Indonesia, Brazil and China are among the countries with the most threatened mammals and birds.

“Not only wild plants and animals are at risk, people are victims of the deteriorating nature. Patterns suggest that without action during the Anthropocene the earth will become much less hospitable to our modern globalised society,” the report says.

India ranks fifth in terms of bio-capacity — means an ecosystem capable of producing resources like food, fibre and absorbing carbon dioxide. However, large population size and growing wealth which may change the consumption pattern is a challenge.

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“Our consumption patterns are constantly shaping the future of our planet,” said Ravi Singh, CEO, WWF-India.

WWF, however, finds addressing the social inequality and environment degradation as best remedy.

“There is still considerable room for optimism. Fortunately, we are not starting from scratch. We must create a new economic system that enhances and supports the natural capital upon which it relies,” says WWF.

While the prediction of losing two-third of the global wildlife population is expected by 2020, the landmark Paris climate agreement (COP21) that would enter into force the same year, is seen as another sign of optimism. (IANS)


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Elon Musk has renewed his promise to "extend life to Mars".

Following a huge growth in his personal fortune, Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk has renewed his promise to "extend life to Mars". According to The Star, Musk's wealth has swelled to an astonishing $230 billion. Or a whopping 861 billion Dodgecoin, a cryptocurrency backed by the entrepreneur after he was reported to have invested millions.

Musk is now richer than Bill Gates and Warren Buffett combined, both individuals who had previously held the rich list title. "Elon Musk (with a net worth equal to 861 billion #Dogecoin) is now richer than Bill Gates and Warren Buffett COMBINED!" popular crypto YouTuber Matt Wallace's tweeted.

To which Musk said: "Hopefully enough to extend life to Mars". "Have no doubt you will make it happen," Wallace responded. CEO investments, the creators of Dogecoin, also responded backing Musk's plans every step of the way. The SpaceX Mars programme was initiated by Musk to colonize Mars after he first conceptualized the project back in 2001. SpaceX's aspirational goal has been to land the first humans on Mars by 2024, but in October 2020 Musk named 2024 as the goal for an uncrewed mission. (IANS/ MBI)

Keywords: investments, combined, SpaceX, billion, Elon musk, tesla


Photo by Damir Spanic on Unsplash

A perfume is an essential part of dressing up.

By N. Lothungbeni Humtsoe

A perfume is an essential part of dressing up. Studies confirm that we feel more confident about ourselves if the final touches of our routine is a spritz of lingering perfume. However, how often do you feel that your perfume doesn't last long enough? How often do you feel that the fragrance disappears in a few hours? This is quite a common problem. Let's learn a few hacks to keep you smelling gorgeous all day.

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I'm nostalgic about Delhi. There's no ideal place to live in, where you are that is your home - Mukundan

By Vishnu Makhijani

Back in the 1960s, the national capital was a "quiet and safe place" where women were not harmed and you could sleep on your terrace "without locking the main house door". Then, "a nouveau riche class prospered" and outwardly, New Delhi today "is a beautiful city" but "beneath lies hunger, filth and diseases".Still, Malayalam author M. Mukundan is nostalgic about a city where he lived for 40 long years before moving back to his hometown of Mahe and this prompted him to write "Delhi - A Soliloquy", translated by Fathima E.V. and Nandakumar K (Westland/Eka) that has been shortlisted for the Rs 25 lakh JCB Prize for Literature, India's richest literary award. "When I was in Delhi, I felt nostalgic about Mahe. Now it is the other way round - I'm nostalgic about Delhi. There's no ideal place to live in, where you are that is your home," Mukundan, four of whose works have been adapted for the big screen, told IANS in an interview.

"In the early 60s when I arrived in Delhi, it was a quiet and safe place. There were villages within the city. After seeing a late night movie at the Race Course theatre, women and children would walk down to Lodhi Colony past midnight. No woman was harmed. "In summer, we used to sleep on the charpoys spread out on the terraces of our houses without locking the main house door down below. It was a city anybody will dream of living. And then Delhi changed all of a sudden - a brutal, grotesque change. "Factories and commercial establishments came up, attracting unemployed poor people from other states. Building mafias destroyed villages and fields and built ugly high-rise buildings. Poor people were pushed away to filthy slums where they led a wretched life of deprivation. Throwing away all values, a nouveau riche class prospered. Outwardly, Delhi is a beautiful city. But beneath lies hunger, filth and diseases," Mukundan elaborated.

Mukundan A Soliloquy" is the story of the changes and growth of the city with Sahadevan's life as the backdrop. Wikimedia Commons

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