England becoming a country of ‘beauty spots rather than beauty’, and must act fast to address declining biodiversity, says the government’s environment watchdog
Nearly 500 species of animals and plants have become extinct in England as a result of human activity since 1800, according to a report by Natural England.
In the first ever audit of England’s lost and declining species, 12 per cent of land mammals, 22 per cent of amphibians and 24 per cent of butterflies were shown to have been lost.
Seven of the species, including the Irish Lady’s Tresses orchid and the Pashford Pot Beetle, have been lost in the last 10 years and some, including the Great Auk and Ivell’s sea anenome, are now globally extinct.
The populations of a further 943 species are at precariously low levels including the northern bluefin tuna, the Natterjack toad and the red squirrel, which Natural England says could become extinct in the next 20-30 years without urgent action.