Monday, 10 May 2010

Lost life: England’s lost and threatened species

This recent report by Natural England is the first assessment of decline and loss among England’s native species.

The introduction says:
'In International Year of Biodiversity, the year by which EU governments have committed to halt biodiversity loss in Europe, it is particularly relevant to ask: Which species has England lost?

'Our aims in producing this report are to raise awareness of biodiversity loss, to describe the serious consequences for biodiversity if current trends continue, and to encourage greater action by highlighting some early successes in halting and reversing decline.'

Fascinating facts from the report include:
  • England has approximately 55,500 species of animals, plants and fungi.
  • These include five groups of species considered to be of outstanding significance in an international context: Atlantic ferns, mosses and lichens; breeding seabirds; wintering and passage waterbirds and gulls; grassland and woodland fungi; and heathland invertebrates.
  • We also have at least 40 species endemic to England (ie they occur nowhere else on Earth)
  • There are 54 species recognised as threatened at an international level.
  • A total of 943 English species were identified in 2008 as priorities for conservation action under the England Biodiversity Strategy and UK Biodiversity Action Plan (BAP). Further species have declined in recent historic times to precariously low (‘depleted’) levels.
Help increase our knowledge of the New Forest wildlife by joining in the Bioblitz on 21/22 May.

You can download the Natural England report free of charge here.

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