From Ark to Bark: 58% backboned wild animals lost in 40 years

Sad? See The Living Planet Reports:

in 2014: “Half the world’s wildlife has been lost in the past 40 years: – 50% ”

Half the world’s wildlife!

But look at the figure quoted this week in 2016:

2016: “More than Half of the world’s wildlife lost in the past 40 years: –  58%

It means your web editor will have to update her leaflets. (Mock groans)

What does it mean for wild animals and plants under threat of extinction?

What does it mean for wildlife rangers in Africa living each day under the threat of violence from poachers?

What does it mean to the Rhino and Elephants?

What does it mean for future generations who will grow up knowing that their parents and grandparents allowed so many creatures to follow the way of the passenger pigeon and the dodo?


This post looks at:

  1. Some statistics given by the Living Planet report 2016
  2. Some Relevant quotes given in a Bible Sunday Sermon ..
  3. Examples of what two members of Green Christian happen to be doing/have done this fortnight.

And we offer prayers for those working in nature conservation everywhere in the world – including people who through the power of the internet may visit this website.

1. Some statistics given by the Living Planet report 2016

58% of backboned wild animals (including mammals, birds, reptiles and fish) have been lost over the last 40 years.

In four years time this could be 66%. i.e. by 2020 only 1/3 of the wildlife that was present in 1970 will be left.

And after that?

The 2016 Living Planet report used measurements and statistics gathered on populations of 3669 species and 18290 populations..

Already 97% of the vertebrates (possibly by weight) on earth are humans and their cattle and other domestic animals. The 3% wildlife – maybe now only 2% – needs looking after.



2. A reflection on biblical references to wildlife used for Bible Sunday
From Ark to Bark



23 Oct was Bible Sunday .”From Ark to Bark” was the theme of the service given by David Wood on Bible Sunday 23 Oct 2016 at Allhallowgate Methodist Church, Ripon. Rev Wood showed how the bible starts (more or less) with an ark – Noah following God’s instructions and saving the animals (Noah’s ARK) and finishes with bark the story of the Tree of Life – (BARK)

Nature is SO important.

   Revelation 22:2 (The last chapter in the bible)
.. On either side of the river stood a tree of life, producing twelve kinds of fruit and yielding a fresh crop for each month. And the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations.

Rev Wood showed how Noah had Faith, Love and Hope.

Faith – God instructed Noah how to build the ark (in detail) but then there were no more instructions – Noah had to have Faith.

Love – Noah’s family must have had to have had love  and tolerance amongst each other to live in such close quarters to each other and the animals (and the smells) for 150 days,

Hope– Noah sent the raven out and then the dove. The second time dove brought back an olive leaf.

Noah worked hard to save the animals. So must we.

How many trees with leaves with healing properties are becoming extinct before we have even discovered them?


3. Examples of what two Green Christian members have been doing this week.

Saving Wildlife Coffee Morning1. Coffee Morning in Yorkshire:

Judith Allinson is organising a Coffee morning on 1st Nov at St John’s Methodist Church, Settle, which she hope will raise over £100 for the Rainforest Fund, Settle. This is the ninth year they have held such a coffee morning- one a year on average starting in 2008.

£100 is nominally enough money to buy and save 1 acre of Rainforest through the charities World Land Trust or Cool Earth. Then extra money will go to A Rocha Ghana – a Christian charity in Ghana, working to preserve forests there and to encourage bee keeping, replanting of damaged areas, and working to protect the Atewa Forest Reserve. You can donate to these three charities at the end of the next paragraph:

Money given through these three Justgiving sites will be recorded and the record added to the “Rainforest Fund” total. Judith hopes that 100 different churches will  raise money (£100 or more) for “Save an acre of habitat” type charities and thus show that Christians care about looking after God’s Creation – the natural world, and that they care that future generations can enjoy wildlife too. So far 15 churches have contributed, including  three churches  several times. Could your church take part?

World Land Trust                Cool Earth                A Rocha Ghana

£100 or £150 is a pinprick.  It’s the price of two pairs of trainers! I would urge people to consider giving something.

2. Talk to a local church group at Mickleton Methodist Church near Chipping Camden

Meanwhile Mark Boulton, a Methodist near Chipping Camden who has built his own eco-house,  and is also a trustee of The Elsa Trust (Remember the Film “Born Free”? ) see their latest newsletter ..

in an email letter on 27th October wrote :

Will Humans Survive the Sixth Great Extinction? asks the National Geographic . . . and it’s answer:’What is clear, and what is beyond dispute, is that we are living in a time of very, very elevated extinction rates, on the order that you would see in a mass extinction, though a mass extinction might take many thousands of years to play out.’

We need to continue to flag up concerns about biodiversity loss (steady decline and eventually extinction of species) yet this vital issue so often gets put at the bottom of the queue behind climate change, deforestation (though this is a major cause of species loss), desertification, energy etc.
Maintaining Planet Earth’s biodiversity – the widest possible variety of animals and plants – is fundamental for it impacts on almost everything else. Plants absorb carbon and maintain the level of oxygen we need to breathe; they help conserve water, provide food, timber, medicine. Of course agricultural crops also contribute to this, but we spray them with umpteen chemicals from seed to crop and some of these destroy the very beneficial insects (bees) we need to pollinate them. The animals (I mean all animals – not just mammals) are all part of the biological chains and have their roles in natural cycles – even we we don’t always understand what they are.
The current disastrous decline in Asian vultures (99% in the case of some species) as a result of eating carcasses of animals which have been dosed with diclofenac – a veterinary drug (see recent appeal ‘Saving Asia’s Vultures from extinction’ just launched by RSPB) means that they are no longer fulfilling their vital role as nature’s scavengers.
It just so happens that I was just finishing a powerpoint presentation for a church group this afternoon in which I will be talking about similar disturbing declines in three of Africa’s iconic species (and there are of course very many more species whose numbers are falling rapidly too)
Elephant (watch the TV programme ‘Saving Africa’s elephant: and the Ivory War’ on Monday evenings) Every day more than 80 elephants are killed in Africa for their ivory

Lion – did you see the Virginia McKenna Born Free revisited on Sunday evening?

Rhino – more than 3 rhinos a day were killed in South Africa last year

‘The fact is’ says Sir David Attenborough ‘ that no species has ever had such wholesale control over everything on earth, living or dead, as we now have. That lays upon us, whether we like it or not, an awesome responsibility. In our hands now lies not only our own future, but that of all other living creatures with whom we share the earth.”

So keep flagging this up  and let’s hope others  will increasingly do the same.

Could your church raise £100 for the Rainforest Fund?

Or donate to

World Land Trust                Cool Earth                A Rocha Ghana







Author: | Date: 31 October, 2016 | Category: Action Biodiversity | Comments: 0

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