State of Nature report: The RSPB warns one in six species are at risk of being lost from the British Isles.
State of Nature report: The RSPB warns one in six species are at risk of being lost from the British Isles.

Conservation charity warns of species in decline

3 min


RSPB reports findings of State of Nature study

The RSPB says one in six species are at risk of being lost from the British Isles. It’s warning stems from the publication of the State of Nature report which concludes that there’s no let-up in the decline of our wildlife.

The charity explains that the report is the most comprehensive of its kind to date. It adds that there’s been an average 19% decline in species studied since monitoring began in 1970. 

It highlights issues around the ‘poor condition’ for a number of key habitat areas. It adds that restoration projects, can, and do, have clear benefits for nature. Such schemes can help mitigate against the effects climate change mitigation. 

With climate change and the environment never far from being on the front pages of the national press, the report is warning that nearly one in six of the more than ten thousand species assessed (16%) are at risk of being lost from Great Britain. 

The RSPB says the UK is already classified as one of the world’s most nature-depleted countries.

It says much loved species such as Turtle Dove, Hazel Dormouse, Lady’s Slipper Orchid and European Eel now face an uncertain future.

The charity says there’s been declines in the distributions of more than half of our flowering plant species, with species such as Heather and Harebell being enjoyed by far fewer people.

‘State of Nature’ is the most comprehensive nature report covering the UK, its Crown Dependencies and Overseas Territories.

State of Nature: report result of collaboration from 60 organisations

The report is the result of a collaboration from more than working 60 research and conservation organisations and follows previous editions in 2013, 2016 and 2019.

It uses the latest data from monitoring schemes and biological recording centres to provide a benchmark for the status of our wildlife.

The charity says that even before the introduction of widespread monitoring in 1970, there had been a depletion of biodiversity over a period of centuries. 

It says the State of Nature report points to the intensive way in which we manage our land for farming, and the continuing effects of climate change, as being the two biggest drivers of nature loss.

‘The UK’s wildlife is better studied than in any other country in the world and what the data tell us should make us sit up and listen,’ says Beccy Speight, the RSPB’s Chief Executive.

‘What is clear, is that progress to protect our species and habitats has not been sufficient and yet we know we urgently need to restore nature to tackle the climate crisis and build resilience.’

‘We know that conservation works and how to restore ecosystems and save species.’

‘We need to move far faster as a society towards nature-friendly land and sea use, otherwise the UK’s nature and wider environment will continue to decline and degrade, with huge implications for our own way of life.’

‘It’s only through working together that we can help nature recover.’

The charity is calling for ‘nature-friendly’ farming to be implemented at a much wider scale to halt the decline in farmland wildlife.

On the upside, the report highlights how concerted wildlife conservation action has made a key difference to many species and habitats.

It points to large-scale restoration projects, such as the protected area of Lyme Bay, where the number of species increased markedly since trawling was banned in 2008.

Like it? Share with your friends!