UK report on lost or declining species

Farmers have been urged to review their management practices amid the launch of the first ever audit of all of England’s lost and declining species.

Natural England said the report should act as a “powerful reminder” that farmers should not take wildlife for granted because biodiversity declines.

Lost Life: England’s Lost and Threatened Species identifies nearly 500 animals and plants that have become extinct in England – almost all within the last two centuries.

Almost 1000 native species have been given conservation priority status because of the severity of the threats facing them.

Natural England is concerned about the impact that farming is having on wildlife.

Its chief executive, Helen Phillips, has stated that development, intensive farming and climate change risks losing hundreds of species.

Dr Phillips said: “This report is a powerful reminder that we cannot take our wildlife for granted and that we all lose when biodiversity declines.

“Every species has a role and, like rivets in an aeroplane, the overall structure of our environment is weakened each time a single species is lost.”

The report highlights how habitat loss, inappropriate management, environmental pollution and pressure from non-native species have all played a part in the erosion of England’s biodiversity.

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