Freshwater Living Planet Index

28% decline between 1970 and 2003

Population of 344 representative freshwater species (287 in temperate zones and 51 in tropical zones) are tracked to calculate the Freshwater Living Planet Index. This index shows us the current health of the world's freshwater ecosystems as compared to 1970.

The Freshwater Living Planet Index shows a approximately 28% decline in the period between 1970 and 2003.
Freshwater Living Planet Index rel=
Freshwater Living Planet Index

Temperate and Tropical Freshwater Lliving Planet Indices

Tropical and Temperate species populations declined by about 30% overall between 1970 and 2003. Freshwater birds appear to have relatively stabilised while other freshwater species have declined on an average by about 50%.

Causes of Decline

Some of the main causes of decline in Freshwater Living Planet Index are: habitat destruction, overfishing, invasive species, pollution, and the disruption of river systems for water supplies.

Alteration and damming of river systems for industrial and domestic use, irrigation, and hydroelectric power have fragmented more than half of the world's large river systems. Worldwide, the amount of water stored in reservoirs behind dams is 3 to 6 times the quantity contained in rivers.

Worst hit biomes

Mediterranean woodlands, deserts and xeric shrublands, temperate broadleaved forests, and temperate, flooded, and montane grassland biomes all have more than 70% of their large river systems serverly disrupted, primarily for irrigation.
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