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State of Nature 2016

One in 11 Scottish species threatened with extinction, new study finds
State of Nature 2016

It’s not too late to save Nature in Scotland – but we must act now. That is the conclusion reached by the coalition of 50 leading wildlife and research organisations behind the State of Nature 2016 report.

‘The natural world is in serious trouble and it needs our help as never before. The rallying call issued after the State of Nature report in 2013 has promoted exciting and innovative conservation projects. Landscapes are being restored, special places defended, struggling species being saved and brought back. But we need to build significantly on this progress if we are to provide a bright future for Nature and for people. The future of Nature is under threat and we must work together; governments, conservationists, businesses and individuals, to help it. Millions of people care very passionately about Nature and the environment and I believe that we can work together to turn around the fortunes of wildlife.’

SIR DAVID ATTENBOROUGH
Launch of State of Nature 2016 report

Status of native species

Following on from the groundbreaking State of Nature report in 2013, leading professionals from 50 wildlife organisations in Scotland have pooled expertise and knowledge to present the clearest picture to date of the status of our native species across land and sea.

In Scotland, one in every 11 species assessed is at risk of becoming extinct (9%) and for some groups of species that threat is even higher. 18% of butterflies, 15% of dragonflies and 13% of plants are officially classified as being at risk of extinction.

‘More is needed to put Nature back where it belongs – we must continue to work to help restore our land and sea for wildlife. There is a real opportunity for the Scottish and UK governments to build on these efforts and deliver the significant investment and ambitious action needed to bring Nature back from the brink.’

MARK EATON
Lead author on State of Nature 2016 report

Across the UK as a whole, over one in 10 species assessed are under threat of disappearing altogether (13%) and 2% have already become extinct.

Conservation in Scotland

There are many inspiring examples of the conservation action that’s helping to turn the tide in Scotland.

The Bumblebee Conservation Trust is working with farmers and communities to create more habitats for great yellow bumblebees across their range in Caithness; the John Muir Trust is tackling damage caused by deer to ancient Atlantic oak and hazel woodland with a combination of fencing and planting and RSPB Scotland is restoring the globally important expanse of blanket bog in the Flow Country after it was damaged by inappropriate commercial conifer plantations. But much more work is needed to put Nature back where it belongs.

As the Scottish and UK governments move forward in light of the EU referendum result, the RSPB is highlighting an opportunity to secure world-leading protection for our species and the restoration of Nature. Now is the time to make ambitious decisions and significant investment in the environment to ensure year-on-year improvement in the health and protection of the country’s habitats and wildlife for future generations.

Bringing Nature ‘back from the brink’

The widespread decline of Nature in Scotland remains a serious problem to this day and there is little evidence to suggest that the rate of loss is slowing down. In order to help struggling species, we need to understand what’s causing these declines.

Using evidence gathered as part of the State of Nature report, experts have identified that significant and ongoing changes in agricultural practices are having the single biggest impact on Nature.

‘Never before have we known this much about the state of Nature in Scotland and the threats it is facing. The partnership and many landowners are using the knowledge we’re gathering to underpin some amazing scientific and conservation work.’

MARK EATON
Lead author on State of Nature 2016 report

Click here for a full copy of the Scottish and UK State of Nature 2016 reports.

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