The UK’s wildlife organisations have joined forces to undertake a health check of nature in the UK and its Overseas Territories.
The State of Nature report is a collaboration between 25 UK research and conservation organisations who have gathered together the best available data on the status of species in order to assess the health of nature.
The report reveals that 60 per cent of the species for which data are available have declined over recent decades, 31 per cent strongly so. More than one in ten of all the species assessed are under threat of disappearing from our shores altogether.
The report identifies that there is a lack of knowledge on the trends of most of the UK’s species. As a result, quantitative trends can be reported for only 5 per cent of the 59,000 or so terrestrial and freshwater species in the UK, and for very few of the 8,500 marine species. Therefore much needs to be done to improve knowledge.
What is known about the state of the UK’s nature is often based upon the efforts of thousands of dedicated volunteer enthusiasts who contribute their time and expertise to monitoring schemes and species recording.
The report reinforces the conclusion that nature is continuing to decline, that the pressures on the natural world are growing and that the response to the biodiversity crisis is slowing.
However, the report illustrates that targeted conservation has produced inspiring success stories and, with sufficient determination, resources and public support, the fortunes of our wildlife can be turned around.
The full report can be found online at www.rspb.org.uk/stateofnature. I would be interested to hear people’s thoughts on any aspect of the report.