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Almost Half Of UK Species Have Declined Since The 1970s, Concerning New Report Finds

Almost Half Of UK Species Have Declined Since The 1970s, Concerning New Report Finds

Experts have warned that many species could soon be wiped from the British Isles for good.

The worrying research, from the State Of Nature 2019 report, shows that many animals are in "serious trouble" with a 13 per cent decline in species since monitoring begun.

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After looking at over 7000 mammal and plant species, the research shows as many as 15 per cent are at risk of being lost from Britain for good, with a whopping 26 per cent of mammals facing extinction.

Those threatened include wildcat and greater mouse-eared bats, who are "teetering on the edge of disappearing".

UK species are on the decline Credit: PA
UK species are on the decline Credit: PA

Since 1500, as many as 133 species - including wryneck and serin birds - have already disappeared from British shoes altogether.

And more than two-fifths of UK species have seen significant declines over the years.

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Butterflies and moths have been one of the most negatively affected, with butterflies being hit 17 per cent while moths are down by a quarter.

The report was pulled together by more than 70 wildlife organisations who have worked alongside government agencies.

Credit: Pexels
Credit: Pexels

So what's causing the decline? According to conservationists, it's largely down to "significant and ongoing" changes in how we manage agriculture, and the effects of climate change.

Pollution is also said to be a big problem. While emissions have reduced in recent decades, it still continues to have a "severe impact" on animals' habitats across the UK.

Rosie Hails, Nature and Science Director at the National Trust, said: "The UK's wildlife is in serious trouble.

Scientists say pollution is partially to blame Credit: Pexels
Scientists say pollution is partially to blame Credit: Pexels

"We are now at a crossroads when we need to pull together with actions rather than words to stop and reverse the decline of those species at risk as well as protecting and creating new habitats in which they can thrive.

"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.

"Only a robust approach to environmental protections and law making can deliver this for England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

"But it's not just Government that needs to act; we can also all do our own bit for nature and wildlife including nature-friendly planting in our backyards and choosing peat-free composts for our gardens that protect precious peatland habitats."

Featured Image Credit: Pexels

Topics: Life News, News, Animals

Joanna Freedman

Joanna is a journalist at Pretty 52 who loves writing about all things food, fashion, beauty and lifestyle. She also has a particular interest in women's issues.

 

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