Editor's note

A new report from the WWF says that 60% of the world’s vertebrate animal population has been wiped out by human activity since 1970. The report also highlights that the Earth is losing biodiversity at a rate seen only during mass extinctions. Ecologist Tom Oliver explains the danger of our present course, and outlines the planetary consequences of crossing this “tipping point”.

Just 20 countries are home to 94% of the world’s remaining wilderness — vast tracts of untamed land and sea which are often strongholds for endangered species. These can be saved, but the success depends on the ‘mega-wilderness’ nations, like Brazil and Russia. James Allan, James Watson, Jasmine Lee and Kendall Jones explain how legislation, rewarding good behaviour and preventing infrastructure expansion all play a key role.

Jack Colyer

Section Assistant

Top Stories


Tipping point: huge wildlife loss threatens the life support of our small planet

Tom Oliver, University of Reading

A new report by the WWF finds 60% losses in vertebrate populations since 1970.

Brazil, home to the Amazon, is one of just five ‘mega-wilderness’ countries. CIFOR

Earth’s wilderness is vanishing, and just a handful of nations can save it

James Allan, The University of Queensland; James Watson, The University of Queensland; Jasmine Lee, The University of Queensland; Kendall Jones, The University of Queensland

More than two-thirds of Earth's remaining wilderness is in the hands of just five countries, according to a new global map. A concerted conservation effort is needed to save our last wild places.


Why conservation success stories in Tanzania need a closer look

Jevgeniy Bluwstein, University of Fribourg; Jens Friis Lund, University of Copenhagen; Peadar Brehony, University of Cambridge

Narratives about successful community-based conservation efforts in Tanzania need to be probed.

When water is scarce we’re willing to share what we really need – new research

Astrid Kause, University of Leeds

People may be more willing to share scarce resources they really need than apocalyptic Hollywood movies may suggest.