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More than a quarter of UK mammals face extinction

by Arushi Madan | 06-10-2019 02:04 recommendations 0

More than a quarter of mammals are facing extinction, according to a detailed and devastating report on the state of the natural world in the UK.

It also said one in seven species were threatened with extinction, and 41% of species studied have experienced decline since 1970.

Providing the clearest picture to date, the State of Nature report examined data from almost 7,000 species.

It drew on expertise from more than 70 different organisations.

These included wildlife organisations and government agencies.

The report said 26% of mammal species were at risk of disappearing altogether.

A separate report outlined the picture in Scotland, where the abundance and distribution of species has also declined.

Scotland saw a 24% decline in average species abundance, and about one in 10 species threatened with extinction.

A quarter of moths have been lost, and nearly one in five butterflies. Their numbers continue to plunge.

The State of Nature report shows, in grim detail, that almost one in five plants are classified as being at risk of extinction, along with 15% of fungi and lichens, 40% of vertebrates and 12% of invertebrates.

It paints a picture of what conservationists call "the great thinning", with 60% of "priority species" having declined since 1970.

There has been a 13% decline in the average abundance of species studied.

Our wildlife is also changing more and more quickly. Researchers found more than half of species had either rapidly decreased or increased in number over the last 10 years.

Daniel Hayhow from the RSPB, lead author of the report, said: "We know more about the UK's wildlife than any other country on the planet, and what it is telling us should make us sit up and listen. We need to respond more urgently across the board."

Rosie Hails, nature and science director at the National Trust said: "The UK's wildlife is in serious trouble... we are now at a crossroads when we need to pull together with actions rather than words.

"We need a strong new set of environmental laws to hold our governments and others to account and to set long-term and ambitious targets."

The study cited the intensification of agriculture as a key driver of species loss. While this has, the report's authors said, led to greater food production, it has also had a "dramatic impact on farmland biodiversity". The study said the area of crops treated with pesticides increased by 53% between 1990 and 2010.

The report said targeted wildlife-friendly farming, supported by government-funded agri-environment schemes (AES) "may have helped slow the decline in nature but has been insufficient to halt and reverse this trend".

The report also underlined the ongoing impact of climate change. According to the Met Office, the UK's 10 hottest years occurred since 2002.

The report said climate change was "driving widespread changes in the abundance, distribution and ecology of the UK's wildlife, and will continue to do so for decades or even centuries to come". The authors also said that, in the UK, many species, including birds, butterflies, moths and dragonflies have shifted their range north over the last four decades, moving by, on average, 20km per decade.

Warming seas also caused disruption, with marked changes in plankton and fish distribution.

Natural England chair Tony Juniper said: "Today's report paints a stark picture of the state of some of our most-loved species. These losses matter as they represent an unravelling of the web on which we depend."

One positive piece of data is that a quarter of UK species studied have increased, including bitterns and the large blue butterfly.

Also, public support for conservation continued to grow. The amount of time donated by volunteers increased by 40% since 2000, to around 7.5m hours.

Young volunteers for a pioneering charity, Action for Conservation (AFC), were involved in the foreword to the State of Nature. AFC recently launched what it described as the largest youth-led conservation project in the world, in Penpont, near Gwent.

Fifteen year-old AFC volunteer Danny said: "I got involved in conservation because I wanted to see more wildlife where I live and hopefully reverse some of the devastating trends we're seeing right now when it comes to climate and biodiversity.

"I think the most important thing that young people can do to help the environment is to educate the adults around them, put pressure on the people in charge and show other young people that even small actions can have a big impact.

He added: "Young people understand the urgency of the situation we're in and we're ready to tackle the challenge."

Another example of charities and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) having a marked impact was the return of the pine marten, one of the rarest mammals in Britain, to the Forest of Dean. This re-introduction was overseen by the Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust and Forestry England.

Minette Batters, president of the National Farmers Union (NFU), said: "Farming has already embarked on a long journey of protecting and maintaining the iconic British countryside; huge amounts of work have been carried out to enhance our landscapes, benefit soil and water and encourage wildlife and farmland birds - this year 140 different species of birds were recorded on farms during the Big Farmland Bird Count.

She added: "Over the next 30 years farmers will need to produce more food to meet the demands of a growing population, using less land, less water and fewer agricultural inputs."




Source: BBC news

Reference link: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-49892209



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  • Dormant user Arushi Madan


Asmita Gaire

  • Asmita Gaire says :
    Hello arushi
    I hope you are doing well
    Very informative and detailed report
    Thank you so much for this report
    Keep writing
    Green cheers
    Asmita Gaire
    Posted 23-05-2020 12:05

  • Lisa Mentor says :
    Hey Arushi!
    It's Lisa, your mentor.

    Great topic you have here!
    Extinction of many species is something that is very urgent and needs great attention. Yet, people often procrastinate to deal with the issue for the consequences are long-term and often invisible because they don't affect our daily life.
    However, we all know the outcome of mass extinction. It will be an end to our future as well!

    I would like to point out how you have mentioned all the different sources where you got your information from, it is a great thing to do! Not only does this increase the credibility of your article but it credits the original author as well! Also, it is providing the readers with some great sources where they can get more information on the topic if they would like to.

    Nice job really!
    Keep up the green work:)
    Posted 16-10-2019 14:27

  • Hyeongmin Mentor says :
    Hello Arushi!

    This report is full of informative contents and makes people aware of the endangered species.

    Resolving this kind of problems is pretty tough because the process should have consistency through generations and there is no imminent outcome.

    Humans should not be foolish in the way to disturb their companions on this planet for little benefits at hand, since every single species in the nature take very important role in the echo system.

    It is fortunate that some efforts are starting to be taken in both civil and government level.

    Thanks for the great report!
    Hope to read the next one!
    Posted 15-10-2019 03:01

Kushal Naharki

  • Kushal Naharki says :
    Hello Arushi

    I do hope that you are fine and doing great with your works.
    Thank you for your report about More than a quarter of UK mammals face extinction

    Green Cheers from Nepal :)
    Keep writing great reports.
    We are eager to read more reports from you.

    Kushal Naharki

    Posted 12-10-2019 16:52

  • Nazaha Amatullah says :
    The article was very informative, but also captured the writing perspective of the author. Thank you.
    Posted 11-10-2019 16:30

Bal krishna Pandey

  • Bal krishna Pandey says :
    Hello Arushi
    Thanks for sharing such an informative message. We should be aware to conserve our biodiversity.
    Thanks for the report.
    Posted 07-10-2019 13:45

Meena Pandey

  • Meena Pandey says :
    Hello Arushi!!!
    I hope you are fine and doing great.
    Thank you for the well -written report.
    You have talked on the alarming issue that needs to be outspoken.
    Its our duty to stop deterioration of the biodiversity.

    Keep writing and shining.
    Hope to know more from you.

    Warm regards,
    Meena Pandey


    Posted 06-10-2019 22:32

Sandhya Adhikari

  • Sandhya Adhikari says :
    Hello Arushi,
    I do hope you are fine and doing great with your works,
    Thank you for the collection of such an informative report,
    It is so ridiculous to see that our biodiversity is on the process of threat,
    Those alarming issue is creating such an unavoidable situation which has deteriorating impact on ecosystem.
    Keep writing such a great reports,


    With regards,
    Posted 06-10-2019 18:28

    Very informative article, Thanks Arushi
    Posted 06-10-2019 17:48

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