The 2019 “State of Nature” report for the UK ought to make us sit up and listen. Much of it is alarming, but there is still cause for cautious hope.
It has gathered statistics from almost 80 conservation organisations covering data from the last 50 years. All the information is available to download from various websites and it has details of almost 7,500 species. It probably shows the most accurate picture of nature in the UK to date.
The headline figures are both astonishing and disturbing. 15% of species are under threat of extinction. 2% have already gone for good. There has been a 13% drop in average abundance of wildlife. Over 40% of UK species have fallen and over 100 have already been lost from our shores. There has been a 17% decline in our butterflies and a 25% decline in our moths. Mammal numbers have dropped by over 25% and Bird numbers have plummeted since 1970 by an estimated 44 million!
But it is not all bad news. A few species have increased, sometimes due to conservation initiatives, with partnerships delivering inspiring results. The growing concerns about environmental and climate emergencies, and public support for conservation measures, and the huge increase in the numbers of volunteers donating their time and energy to make things happen is all helping with biodiversity issues. I do hope you can find time to study this important report on-line.
Do you know who to contact if you see wildlife on the beach in difficulties? At this time of year at the height of the seal breeding season, more pups than ever are being stranded on our shores, particularly after the terrible weather we have had recently. If you find one in such circumstances, remain quiet, keep dogs and people from coming too close and use your telephone to seek help. It is worthwhile putting into your phone the emergency numbers below, which are also available on our Wild Roseland website and Facebook pages.
Live stranded marine animals.
British Divers Marine Life Rescue
01825 765546 (office hours Monday to Friday).
07787 433 412 (out of hours and weekends)
Dead stranded marine animals.
Marine Strandings Network.
0345 2012 626 (24-hour Hotline).
Live birds and other marine life.
0300 1234 999 (24-hour Hotline).
Article by David Hall. Edited by Tara Robinson.
Wild Roseland is a group of volunteers who care passionately about looking after the nature and landscape of the Roseland peninsula in south Cornwall. Through a number of initiatives and projects, the aim is to inspire and enhance the conservation of this special place for all.
Seal Pups: David Hall