OREANDA-NEWS The freshwater life of our planet is in serious danger. Over the past few decades, the number of inhabitants of rivers and lakes has decreased by almost 90%. Moreover, about one third of all vertebrates of the Earth live in this environment. 

Scientists at the Berlin Institute for Freshwater Ecology and Inland Fisheries of the Leibniz Association evaluated the declining fauna of rivers and lakes around the world, collecting data for 126 different species. These include river dolphins, beavers, crocodiles, giant turtles, sturgeons, and other large fish and animals. 

The result of the study was depressing. From 1970 to 2012, global populations of freshwater megafauna declined by 88%. This figure is twice the loss of oceanic and terrestrial vertebrates. 

The greatest damage was caused to the fauna of the Indo-Malayan and Palearctic regions. The first, including South and Southeast Asia, as well as South China, has lost 99% of its populations. The second, covering Europe, North Africa and most of Asia, is 97%. 

Among the most affected species are sturgeon, salmon and giant catfish. Here there is a decrease in numbers by 94%. Next in the sad list are reptiles - 72%. 

The reduction is caused by the extraction of fish and animals by humans for the sake of meat, eggs, fur, skin. In addition, the rivers are seriously built up. A person practically does not leave less free space by arranging dams, reservoirs and other hydraulic structures, blocking access to spawning grounds and fodder lands