Why is British wildlife in decline?
Credits WOLFGANG KUMM/AFP/GettyImages
New study warns that populations have plummeted by average of 60% since 1970
More than a quarter of UK mammals are facing extinction, according to a new report authored by 70 British wildlife charities and government agencies.
Populations of the UKs native species have fallen by an average of 60% in less than 50 years, warns the National Biodiversity Networks State of Nature report.
Researchers examined data from 1970 to the present day relating to almost 7,000 species, to produce the clearest picture yet of how Britains wildlife landscape has changed in recent decades, says The Guardian.
“We know more about the UKs wildlife than any other country on the planet, and what it is telling us should make us sit up and listen,” said lead study author Daniel Hayhow, of the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB). “We need to respond more urgently across the board.”
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The analysis found that 26% of mammal species are at risk of disappearing altogether, while 41% of species have decreased in number, the BBC reports.
And “the losses to all animals, plants and marine life show no sign of letting up”, adds The Guardian.
The species most under threat include hedgehogs, hares, bats, birds such as the willow tit and the turtle dove, and insects such as the high brown fritillary butterfly.
The report cites the intensification of agriculture as the main reason for species loss, with the total area of crops treated with pesticides increasing by 53% between 1990 and 2010. This has had a “dramatic impaRead More – Source