The latest report of the UK Biodiversity Action Plan, published by the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs on Tuesday this week, shows that almost 1,150 native animal species in 65 habitats are in danger and in urgent need of special protection.
The UK BAP is the UK Government’s response to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) signed in 1992. It describes the UK’s biological resources, commits a detailed plan for the protection of these resources, and operates 391 Species Action Plans, 45 Habitat Action Plans and 162 Local Biodiversity Action Plans with targeted actions.
According to the new report, the number of endangered British species has almost doubled over the last decade. The first UK BAP report was published in 1997 and identified 577 endangered species.
New entries this year include the hedgehog, the house sparrow, the starling, the grass snake, the Atlantic salmon, the European eel and the garden tiger moth. Species remaining on the endangered list include the skylark, the otter, the bottlenose dolphin and the black grouse. 123 species, such as the Adonis blue butterfly, the pipistrelle bat and the ladybird spider have disappeared since the 1997 list.
Minister for Biodiversity Joan Ruddock said in a statement that saving important eco-systems is ‘essential if we are to pass on a healthy environment to the next generation … Our climate is changing and it is therefore more important than ever that our conservation efforts help our important wildlife habitats to adapt and increase their chances of survival’.
She added that the UK BAP list, which involved more than 500 wildlife experts, took more than two years to compile and aims to halt species loss by 2010, would help the government focus resources on endangered species.
Government News Network
UK Biodiversity Action Plan