The WWF says there's been a 60% drop in animal populations since the 1970s

A charity is warning that human activity is causing wildlife populations to dramatically decline around the world.

The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) says things like overusing natural resources and single-use plastics are to blame.

The conservation group's Living Planet Report has found there's been a 60% drop in animal populations since the 1970s.

Picture by: Xinhua/SIPA USA/PA Images

It says that South and Central America have suffered the most dramatic decline in species populations - an 89% loss compared to 1970.

Now, the WWF is saying an international deal in the vein of the Paris climate agreement is 'essential' to address the issues facing both nature and humans.

Tanya Steele from the WWF observed: "If we want a future with orangutans and puffins, then we need global leaders to step up and agree a global deal for nature.

"As consumers at home, we need to make some very different choices for the future."

Ciaran Flood from the Irish Wildlife Trust says wildlife in Ireland is declining in line with global trends. 'Unfortunately in Ireland we would be having the same sort of trends. We do have a lot of endangered wildlife in Ireland, for ecample we've seen a 12% decline in bumblebees on average'.

OUR LIVING PLANET, AT A GLANCE

60%

Populations of mammals, birds, fish, reptiles, and amphibians have, on average, declined by 60% between 1970 and 2014, the most recent year with available data.

50%

The Earth is estimated to have lost about half of its shallow water corals in the past 30 years.

20%

A fifth of the Amazon has disappeared in just 50 years.

$125 trillion

Globally, nature provides services worth around $125 trillion a year, while also helping ensure the supply of fresh air, clean water, food, energy, medicines, and much more.