A group of experts, conservationists and scientists have come together to call for urgent action to prevent further deterioration of the natural world after the State of Nature 2023 report showed drastic drops in the numbers of certain species. The report notes that the deterioration is evident across the country and there is a risk that many species will disappear completely if there are no measures taken to try and change the situation, with one in every six species facing the threat of extinction in Wales.
The species that have seen the most drastic drops in numbers are some of the less familiar ones, including types of insects, plants, and mammals. Amongst the species that are at risk of disappearing completely are the Fen Orchid, Water Vole and Sand Lizard. There has also been a significant drop in possibly more familiar species such as Atlantic Salmon and the Curlew. Around 3,900 species were assessed and the research found that more than 2% were already extinct in Wales. According to the report’s authors Wales is one of the countries that has seen the biggest decline in biodiversity anywhere on the planet.
The report argues that there is evidence from the past fifty years shows that changes in agriculture and the effects of climate change have had a harmful effect on the land and waterways of Wales. It says that pollution is the main cause of problems in the sea, but that climate change and over-fishing in the past means that less than half of those areas of the sea that are protected are in a good state.
Alun Pritchard, Director of RSPB Wales said:
‘This report shows how we’re facing a critical tipping point in the nature crisis across Wales. A national problem, which needs national action. But we know what we need to do; we know what works. Governments, businesses, communities and the public must now work together and more urgently across the board if we are to put nature back where it belongs. We need to be ambitious and inspiring for future generations. Nature can’t wait and neither should we.’
You can read the report in full by visiting www.stateofnature.org.uk.