One fifth of Britain’s wild mammals are on the brink of extinction but there is some good news

Hedgehog wild mammals under threat of extinction
Support us and go ad-free

A new study reveals that one fifth of Britain’s wild mammals face extinction. But numbers of some species are on the rise.

On the “precipice”

Wild mammals in Britain most at risk of total wipeout include wildcats, red squirrels, hedgehogs, water voles and the Eurasian beaver. The hedgehog population has fallen by two thirds, now numbering about 500,000. And water vole numbers have fallen by almost 90%, from around 1 million in 1995 to 132,000 today.

The urgency of the situation has led the report’s authors to claim that Britain is on a “precipice”. And they say swift action is needed to stop and reverse the process of decline.

The study also provided some good news, reporting that numbers of some species are on the rise. These include deer, badgers, beavers, polecats, pine martens and wild boar. But some of the species whose numbers have risen are still classed as at risk of extinction.

Man-made

The main cause of this ecological crisis is human activity, with modern farming techniques in particular to blame, including the use of insecticides and chemicals. Urbanisation is also causing wild mammal numbers to fall. Speaking about the looming mass extinction, Springwatch presenter Chris Packham said:

It’s catastrophic and that’s what we’ve forgotten – our generation is presiding over an ecological apocalypse and we’ve somehow or other normalised it.

And added to wild mammals, some species of birds, bees and insects in Britain have either been wiped out entirely or have fallen to dangerous levels.

Read on...

Support us and go ad-free

But speaking about the possibility of a solution, Compassion in World Farming’s Philip Lymbery said:

I’m worried that policymakers and some scientists duck the issue by blaming all the things damaging nature on climate change… There’s a reticence to tackle damaging farming practices head on. If we don’t change our course away from industrial agriculture, then wildlife, our food and future generations will suffer. So as a society we’ve got to have these difficult conversations.

Dereliction of duty

The Conservative-DUP government has voted against proposals to protect the environment and its animals in the past. And the Conservatives only removed their commitment to lift the foxhunting ban due to public pressure.

This approach to the natural world led Greenpeace’s Hannah Martin to say that the government is:

out of step with the British people’s love for the countryside and the wildlife that lives there

We should encourage it to get in step, and quickly.

Get Involved!

Contact your MP to share your thoughts on Britain’s disappearing wildlife.

— Join a wildlife organisation such as the RSPB or your local Wildlife Trust.

— Read more Environment stories from The Canary.

Featured image via Kaythaney

Support us and go ad-free

We need your help to keep speaking the truth

Every story that you have come to us with; each injustice you have asked us to investigate; every campaign we have fought; each of your unheard voices we amplified; we do this for you. We are making a difference on your behalf.

Our fight is your fight. You’ve supported our collective struggle every time you gave us a like; and every time you shared our work across social media. Now we need you to support us with a monthly donation.

We have published nearly 2,000 articles and over 50 films in 2021. And we want to do this and more in 2022 but we don’t have enough money to go on at this pace. So, if you value our work and want us to continue then please join us and be part of The Canary family.

In return, you get:

* Advert free reading experience
* Quarterly group video call with the Editor-in-Chief
* Behind the scenes monthly e-newsletter
* 20% discount in our shop

Almost all of our spending goes to the people who make The Canary’s content. So your contribution directly supports our writers and enables us to continue to do what we do: speaking truth, powered by you. We have weathered many attempts to shut us down and silence our vital opposition to an increasingly fascist government and right-wing mainstream media.

With your help we can continue:

* Holding political and state power to account
* Advocating for the people the system marginalises
* Being a media outlet that upholds the highest standards
* Campaigning on the issues others won’t
* Putting your lives central to everything we do

We are a drop of truth in an ocean of deceit. But we can’t do this without your support. So please, can you help us continue the fight?

The Canary Support us

Comments are closed