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One in 10 UK wildlife species faces extinction - 14th September

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More than one in 10 of the UK’s wildlife species are threatened with extinction and the numbers of the nation’s most endangered creatures have plummeted by two-thirds since 1970, according to a major report.

The abundance of all wildlife has also fallen, with one in six animals, birds, fish and plants having been lost, the State of Nature report found.

Together with historical deforestation and industrialisation, these trends have left the UK “among the most nature-depleted countries in the world”, with most of the country having gone past the threshold at which “ecosystems may no longer reliably meet society’s needs”.

The comprehensive scientific report, compiled by more than 50 conservation organisations, spells out the destructive impact of intensive farming, urbanisation and climate change on habitats from farmland and hills to rivers and the coast. It found that the fall in wildlife over the last four decades cannot be blamed on past harm, but has continued in recent years.

Mark Eaton, at RSPB and the lead author of the report said that there were good examples of wildlife and habitat recovery, but such projects were too few to turn the tide, with public funding for biodiversity having fallen by 32% from 2008 to 2015. “The ability to do it is within our grasp, it is just about resources and the willingness,” he said.

Sir David Attenborough, who wrote the foreword to the report, said: “The natural world is in serious trouble and it needs our help as never before. We continue to lose the precious wildlife that enriches our lives and is essential to the health and well-being of those who live in the UK.”

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