Sometimes I need a reason to get up in the morning and drag myself to my desk, and every now and then I get shocked into remembering why I'm doing this. Today's shocker was the Natural England report Lost Life: England’s Lost and Threatened Species. The report identifies nearly 500 species of native flora and fauna which we have lost since 1800 - the number of total losses is unknown but, of course, likely to be much higher. Around a quarter of our native butterflies and over 20% of amphibia have gone
. Some lost species are now globally extinct. In 2008, 943 species were identified as priorities for conservation action in the UK Biodiversity Action Plan (BAP), to be joind by others which have subsequently declined to "precariously low" levels. These two categories now include 26% of all of the native plant and animal species in England.
This is bigger than a conservation issue. The first two priorities Natural England identify for action are:
Better protect and manage the remaining wildlife habitats Restore and create additional high-value wildlife habitat including through enhancements at a landscape scale
Looks like I'll be getting up tomorrow.