25 different wildlife organizations in UK came together to create a combined report that takes stock of wildlife in Britain and its overseas territories. This has been a first initiative of its kind that has shown decline in 60 percent of species in the last half century with one in ten facing extinction. According to the report, the coming decade is important as significant efforts are required on our part to save wildlife or else, many of these species may face extinction.
According to the report, the major causes of decline in wildlife have been change in climate, intensive farming and urban development that have led to habitat degradation. The species that exist only particular habitat that have been on decline have fared most poorly in the report. The report, however, includes only 3,148 species, while according to estimates there are around 59,000 species of animals, birds and insects in the country. Turtle Doves were hit the most and declined by 93 percent since 1970, while the small tortoiseshell butterfly has reduced by 77 percent in last ten years. The other species that have lost significantly include skylarks, hedgehogs,harbour seals, corn cleavers, V-moth, early bumblebee and tormentil mining bee. There has been a significant decrease in the number of birds, a figure approximated to around 44 million, since 1960s.
Though the news it is also on certain fronts. Thanks to the collaborative efforts of conservationists, government and people certain species that were on decline in the past such as bats, otters, red kites, sea eagles etc. have now picked up in numbers. Besides these some new species have also been reported to emerge. The next challenging task in coming years would be to bring people together and making them aware of the importance of wildlife and the impact its downfall can have on our own lives. While most of young city dwellers may not relate to the problem as they have been totally disconnected from nature, the onus lies on the scientists, naturalists and conservationists to inculcate such groups into the movement.
The positive reports related to certain species is a testimony to the fact that if people, government and conservationists come together, then still a lot can be done to conserve what is still left. It reminds me of what Charles Cook said, “Now that we’re essentially an indoor species, walled off from the world of other life forms, we’re divorced from the very domain that supports and sustains our lives.”