Biodiversity: Land vs Water

All habitat types, on both land and in water, are losing biodiversity. But the decline is greatest in freshwater habitats – and tropical freshwater habitats in particular.

The animal populations tracked by the global Living Planet Index can be divided according to their habitat type – terrestrial, freshwater or marine.
 / ©: Michel Roggo / Nils Aukan / Martin Harvey / WWF-Canon
Pirarucù (Arapaima gigas), Rio Tabajòs, Brazil; hawksbill turtle (Eretmochelys imbricata), Red Sea, Egypt; eclectus parrot (Eclectus roratus), Australia
© Michel Roggo / Nils Aukan / Martin Harvey / WWF-Canon

These declines are on average – as for the overall tropical and temperate LPIs, tropical and temperate species living in each habitat type show starkly different trends. 

For example, the tropical freshwater Living Planet Index has fallen by nearly 70%, while the temperate freshwater LPI has risen by 36%.
 / ©: WWF/ZSL
The Freshwater Living Planet Index a) The global freshwater index shows a decline of 35% between 1970 and 2007 b) The temperate freshwater index shows an increase of 36% while the tropical freshwater index shows a decline of nearly 70%. (customized)
© WWF/ZSL