A Natural England report claims that more than two species of animals and plants become extinct every year, with the survival of many more under threat
Based on an audit of 55,000 of England’s wildlife species, Lost Life: England’s Lost and Threatened Species identifies almost 500 animals and plants that have become extinct over the past two centuries. The report blames loss of habitat, poor land management, environmental pollution and climate change for the threat to England’s biodiversity.
While some progress has been made in preserving threatened species, with notable success stories including the survival of the pole cat, the peregrine and the ladybird spider, there is still a long way to go. The house sparrow, hedgehog and the European eel are all among the 1,000 species given conservation priority status in the new report.
The report highlights the fact that our conservation efforts should not be restricted to the protection of a few isolated sites. Instead, argues the report, we need to adopt a ‘landscape-scale’ approach that focuses on the management of a whole range of ecosystems and aims to link up different wildlife habitats.
“We need a step change in conservation that focuses on restoring the health of ecosystems across the capital,” commented Alison Barnes, director of Natural England in London. “Only through coordinated activity across sectors can we reverse continuing declines in biodiversity in London.”