Study finds sixty percent of UK species in decline
Kew has contributed to a groundbreaking report on the state of wildlife in the UK in time for International Day of Biological Diversity. It reveals that 60% of species studied have declined over recent decades.
UK wildlife in trouble
UK nature is in trouble – that is the conclusion of a groundbreaking report published by a coalition of leading conservation and research organisations.
Scientists working side-by-side from 25 wildlife organisations, including Kew, have compiled a stock take of our native species – the first of its kind in the UK. The report reveals that 60% of the species studied have declined over recent decades. More than one in ten of all the species assessed are under threat of disappearing from our shores altogether.
Our islands have a rich diversity of habitats which support some truly amazing plants and animals ... This report shows that our species are in trouble, with many declining at a worrying rate.Sir David Attenborough
Report launched by Sir David Attenborough
The State of Nature report will be launched by Sir David Attenborough and UK conservation charities at the Natural History Museum in London today (May 22), while simultaneous events will be held in Edinburgh, Cardiff and Belfast. At the London event, Kew’s Colin Clubbe will talk about how his team is helping to conserve the unique biodiversity of the UK Overseas Territories (UKOTs) - 16 far-flung island groups and peninsulas. Many of the unique plant species growing in the UKOTs are under threat, such as Ascension Island parsley fern (Anogramma ascensionis). Following essential field work by the UKOTs team, Kew’s Herbarium specimens and conservation facilities can be used to identify species of plant that are at risk, and safeguard them for our future. You can follow the progress of Kew’s UKOTs team on their blog.
Sir David Attenborough said: “This groundbreaking report is a stark warning – but it is also a sign of hope.
“For 60 years I have travelled the world exploring the wonders of nature and sharing that wonder with the public. But as a boy my first inspiration came from discovering the UK’s own wildlife.
“Our islands have a rich diversity of habitats which support some truly amazing plants and animals. We should all be proud of the beauty we find on our own doorstep; from bluebells carpeting woodland floors and delicately patterned fritillary butterflies, to the graceful basking shark and the majestic golden eagle soaring over the Scottish mountains.
“This report shows that our species are in trouble, with many declining at a worrying rate. However, we have in this country a network of passionate conservation groups supported by millions of people who love wildlife. The experts have come together today to highlight the amazing nature we have around us and to ensure that it remains here for generations to come.”