Living Planet Report 2018


The 2020 Living Planet Report is the thirteenth edition of WWF's flagship publication. The biennial report, produced in collaboration with the Zoological Society of London, uses the global LPI as a measure of the health of 16,704 populations representing 4,005 vertebrate species. Download the full report here and access the data behind the global LPI below.

The main statistic from the report is the global LPI which shows an average 60% decline between 1970 and 2014 (Figure 1). This means that, on average, animal populations are, on average, less than half the size they were in 1970.

Living Planet Index global trend 1970-2016


Figure 1: The global LPI shows a 60% (range: -50% to -67%) decline between 1970 and 2014. The white line shows the index values and the shaded areas represent the 95% confidence intervals surrounding the trend. WWF/ZSL (2018)


The LPI can be divided into one of five major biogeographic realms, regions characterized by distinct assemblages of species: the Nearctic, Palearctic, Neotropical, Afrotropical and Indo-Pacific. This gives us a better understanding of how biodiversity is changing in different parts of the world. Among them, the Neotropical realm has suffered the most dramatic decline of 89% on average (Figure 2).


Living Planet Report 2018 realm trends


Figure 2: The realm LPIs show the trends for A. Nearctic (23%), B. Neotropical (89%), C. Palearctic (31%), D. Afrotropical (56%) and E. Indo-Pacific (64%) between 1970 and 2014 (WWF/ZSL 2018)


The LPI can also be disaggregated into terrestrial, marine and freshwater indices to show how trends vary in different ecosystems. Freshwater species populations have suffered the largest decline of 83% on average (Figure 3), equivalent to 4% a year from 1970

Living Planet Report 2018 freshwater trend


Figure 3: The freshwater LPI shows a decline in the average abundance of freshwater populations of 83% (range: -73% to -90%) between 1970 and 2014 (WWF/ZSL 2018)


The biggest drivers of biodiversity decline in the LPI remain habitat loss and degradation, and overexploitation (Figure 4). Together, they account for at least two-thirds of all threats to populations in each taxonomic group (birds, mammals, fish, and amphibians and reptiles) Beyond this, invasive species and disease, pollution and climate change are additional sources of pressure.


Living Planet Report 2018 threats

Figure 4: Relative frequency of major threats by taxonomic for LPI populations (WWF/ZSL 2018)


The data behind the global LPI is available and can be used subject to our data use policy. Please read and agree to the policy before clicking on the link below to download the csv file. This data set contains the raw population time-series data behind the global LPI in Figure 1, with the exception of 2,413 time-series which we are not permitted to share publicly. Global LPI data 2018 - download file