State of Nature Report 2013

State of Nature Report 2013State of Nature Report 2013

Warwickshire’s nature is in trouble – that is the conclusion of a ground-breaking report launched today (May 22) by a coalition of leading conservation and research organisations.

Nature in the West Midlands is amazing - the region is blessed with some wonderful wildlife but it could be much better and the Midlands is underperforming for nature.

For the first time, the UK’s wildlife organisations have joined forces to undertake a health check of nature in the UK. The report reveals that 60 per cent of the species studied have declined over recent decades. More than one in ten of all the species assessed are under threat of disappearing from our shores altogether.

However, the report illustrates that targeted conservation has produced inspiring success stories and, with sufficient determination, resources and public support, we can turn the fortunes of our wildlife around.

In Warwickshire, less than 2% of the county is designated for its natural interest. The UK has signed up to an international agreement which sets a target of 17% for the area of land which should be good for nature.

The State of Nature report was launched by renowned naturalist and TV presenter Sir David Attenborough. He also wrote the foreword to the report:
The islands that make up the United Kingdom are home to a wonderful range of wildlife that is dear to us all. From the hill-walker marvelling at an eagle soaring overhead, to a child enthralled by a ladybird on their fingertip, we can all wonder at the variety of life around us.

However, even the most casual of observers may have noticed that all is not well.

They may have noticed the loss of butterflies from a favourite walk, the disappearance of sparrows from their garden, or the absence of the colourful wildflower meadows of their youth. To gain a true picture of the balance of our nature, we require a broad and objective assessment of the best available evidence, and that is what we have in this ground-breaking State of Nature report.

This important document provides a stark warning: far more species are declining than increasing in the UK, including many of our most treasured species. Alarmingly, a large number of them are threatened with extinction.

The causes are varied, but most are ultimately due to the way we are using our land and seas and their natural resources, often with little regard for the wildlife with which we share them.

The impact on plants and animals has been profound

Warwickshire has lost more than 70 plant species and 40 species of moth in recent decades.

Although this report highlights what we have lost, and what we are still losing, it also gives examples of how we – as individuals, organisations, governments – can work together to stop this loss, and bring back nature where it has been lost. These examples should give us hope and inspiration.

We should also take encouragement from the report itself; it is heartening to see so many organisations coming together to provide a single voice, stating loud and clear what is happening to our wildlife.

This partnership, backed by a combined membership of millions and enabled by the heroic efforts of thousands of volunteer recorders, provides a powerful force to bring the UK’s nature back to its former glory.

We can turn things around

Through conservation initiatives, community projects, ensuring that developers, local authorities genuinely integrate nature with growth and development – we can be green and growing - public campaigns and individuals doing their bit, we can bring nature back.

60% of the species that have been assessed across the UK have declined over recent decades. This is just the latest part of a historical pattern of decline in the UK. It is mirrored by what is happening in the Midlands.

Through the power of partnership – the State of Nature coalition is standing shoulder to shoulder and we’re backed by tens of thousands of members of the public. Together we can make a difference for the benefit of all our futures.

The State of Nature Report is based on data gathered by an army of thousands of dedicated and passionate volunteers in their spare time.

 

The State of Nature coalition includes the following partners:
Amphibian & Reptile Conservation; Association of British Fungus Groups; Bat Conservation Trust; Biological Records Centre; Botanical Society of the British Isles; British Bryological Society; British Lichen Society; British Mycological Society; British Trust for Ornithology; Buglife; Bumblebee Conservation Trust; Butterfly Conservation; Conchological Society of Great Britain and Ireland; The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew; Mammal Society; Marine Biological Association; Marine Conservation Society; NBN Gateway; People's Trust for Endangered Species; Plantlife; Pond Conservation; Rothamsted Research; RSPB; Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust; and The Wildlife Trusts.

Read our press release about the State of Nature Report - 22 May 2013.

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