Reduce pressures on wildlife by stabilising human numbers

14 February 2024

Media Releases 2024



Sustainable Population Australia has called for the stabilisation of human population numbers in light of a UN Report that reveals migratory wildlife are in a shocking state.

The first-ever State of the World’s Migratory Species report was launched on Monday by the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS).  While some migratory species are improving, nearly half (44 per cent) are showing population declines, with more than a fifth (22%) threatened with extinction. Nearly all (97 per cent) of CMS-listed fish face possible extinction.

SPA national president Jenny Goldie notes that the report states that the two greatest threats to migratory species are overexploitation and habitat loss due to human activity.

“While human numbers were low, we had little impact on wildlife,” says Ms Goldie. “The human population grew fourfold in less than a hundred years, however, from two billion in 1927 to eight billion in November 2022.

“Humans hunt and fish to survive, or occupy other species’ habitats to grow food. The more people, generally the greater the loss and fragmentation of habitat.

“Climate change is cited as another cause of declining wildlife yet this too is a function of human activities, through the burning of fossil fuels and from land-use changes.

“Invasive pests and species are implicated, and these too are linked to humans.”

Ms Goldie says that other species want to move as the climate warms, usually to higher latitudes and altitudes.

“The problem is that humans create barriers such as fences, roads and housing. What we need are vast areas set aside with no such barriers. That, however, will limit the human enterprise. We cannot keep growing in numbers if the places we occupy are limited by the need to provide other species space and room to move as needed.

“The most frightening statistic in the report is that nearly all fish are threatened with extinction. This has huge implications for coastal dwelling people around the world who depend on fish for food.

“We must preserve other species, not just for their own sake, but for the sake of humans themselves. So many species play critical roles in ecosystems on which humans depend.

“We have reached the limits to growth. We have to pull back and allow other species to not just survive, but thrive.”


Climate Change , Environment , Media Releases 2024 , population
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