Azara Blog: More species on Britain's endangered list

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Date published: 2007/06/07

The BBC says:

The number of species on the endangered list in Britain has almost doubled in 13 years, according to a new study.

There are now 1,149 species of plants, mammals, birds and insects, and 67 different types of habitat under threat from climate change and human activity.

Grahame Madge from the RSPB said there must be serious action to restore a "healthy countryside rich in wildlife".

Among the much-loved species are the skylark, dormouse, red squirrel, grass snake and several species of bat.

The list has been compiled by the UK Biodiversity Action Plan (UK BAP) and was the result of two years research by more 500 wildlife experts and a large number of volunteers.

They blame a range of factors including farming techniques and inappropriate rural and urban planning.

DEFRA say the increase is largely due to the fact that "more accurate information on threatened species has been gathered".

Surprisingly DEFRA probably has it just about right. Having a list twice as long does not necessarily mean the real problem is twice as bad. The more you look for problems the more you will find them. And urban and rural planning is not that different today from what it was 50 or even 100 years ago, so it's hard to believe that lies at the core of this alleged problem. Climate change and farming techniques seem far more likely suspects. And if climate change is making environments less suitable for some species with a narrow geographic range, then the only way those species will survive is if a suitable environment by some chance opens up in another location.

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