Several species in Canada are in serious population decline according to recent survey

An extensive survey of 903 species of Canadian birds, fish, mammals, reptiles and amphibians over more than four decades has found that half of them are in serious population decline.

That's the conclusion of a report issued by the World Wildlife Fund.

It says declining species lost a total of 83 per cent of their numbers between 1970 and 2014.

It also says the federal Species at Risk Act doesn't seem to have made any difference, noting the protected species shrank nearly as quickly as those that weren't.

WWF president David Miller says there's an incredible urgency to reverse the decline.

He says the legislation may no longer be the best tool to protect wildlife, since there are too many shrinking species to protect each one individually.