Many of the UK’s wildlife organisations have joined forces to undertake a health check of nature in the UK and its Overseas Territories. The report provides stark reading, some headlines include:
- 60% of the 3,148 UK species they assessed have declined over the last 50 years and
- 31% have declined strongly.
- Half of the species assessed have shown strong changes in their numbers or range, indicating that recent environmental changes are having a dramatic impact on nature in the UK. Species with specific habitat requirements seem to be faring worse than generalist species.
- A new Watchlist Indicator, developed to measure how conservation priority species are faring, shows that their overall numbers have declined by 77% in the last 40 years, with little sign of recovery.
Of more than 6,000 species that have been assessed using modern Red List criteria, more than one in ten are thought to be under threat of extinction in the UK.
The full report can be found here: http://www.rspb.org.uk/ourwork/science/stateofnature/index.aspx
The Scottish report can be found here: http://www.rspb.org.uk/Images/scotland_tcm9-345855.pdf
Douglas McAdam, Scottish Land & Estates Chief Executive, said:
“Clearly the State of Nature report should be a wake-up call to everyone in Scotland. Although the figures for Scotland appear slightly less alarming than for the UK as a whole, there should be no room for complacency. Scottish Land & Estates has been working hard to establish the Wildlife Estates Scotland accreditation initiative, which aims to raise best practice and conservation standards in game and wildlife management and hopes that it will deliver real benefits for Scotland’s biodiversity. Land managers will be absolutely critical if we are to address the disturbing trends highlighted by this report and we believe that landowners will step up to the plate and help address the problem”.