Looking into U.K.’s Declining Wildlife
October 2013. A closer look at the state of UK's wildlife revealed that more than 10% of British species are in danger of national extinction while approximately 60% have declined in the last fifty years.
Climate change, loss of habitat & land management
This in-depth State of Nature report from The Wildlife Trusts report takes a closer look at how the animals in the wild are faring and the results are quite alarming. A rapid rate of decline has been observed for native species of bats, butterflies and moths. The species registering the biggest fall over the recent years include red squirrels, hedgehogs and turtle doves. The reason behind this decline has been primarily attributed to three things: changes to the management of the countryside, rapid loss of habitat as well as climate change.
Preserving the Native Wildlife
One ray of hope in saving the native species from extinction is the protection of their habitat. Local conservation groups play a vital role in conserving wildlife together with their passion in saving wildlife. Volunteers and donors who support conservation groups provide the necessary team to make a difference. Unfortunately, these efforts are not enough. It is important to integrate wildlife conservation to one's lifestyle or business to ensure the continuity of species. Preserving areas where wildlife thrives such as gardens in towns and cities is on way to protect the native species.
Where to Watch British Wildlife
One way to gain appreciation for wildlife is to see them yourself. There are various parks and natural reserves in the country where you have a close encounter with various animals from the wild. Here are some of the best:
1. Minsmere lies on the coast of Suffolk and is one of Britain's premier wildlife sites. Minsmere provides a superb place to enjoy a day out, whether you are a birdwatcher or simply want a country walk with the family. If you want to stay nearby you can spend the evening at one of many local caravan sites. If you’re caravanner and considering staying at one of the local campsites, bear in mind wildlife can be unpredictable so make sure you get a policy that covers wildlife incidents. You can see the damage a rogue deer can cause.
2. Blakeney Point. An important breeding ground for terns and other over-wintering birds, this nature reserve just north of Norfolk also gets 500 to 800 breeding seals during the year. Grey seals give birth to pups from November to December and common seals from July to August. Seal trips run by Beans Boat take visitors to see these animals year round and they have daily trips from April to October. You can stay on the boat or you can hop off in Blakeney Point and explore the Lifeboat House which has been turned by the National Trust into an information centre.
3. The New Forest has been shaped since prehistoric times by man and his animals. It is the largest area of lowland heath in Britain and the mosaic of different habitats provides for a rich flora and fauna. The New Forest is home to five different species of deer - Fallow, Roe, Red, Sika and Muntjac. The New Forest supports a number of birds of prey including sparrowhawks, buzzards, hobbies, kestrels and the rare Honey buzzard. The rare firecrest and its commoner relative, the goldcrest, are also found in the forest.
Valley mires support nationally important populations of snipe, curlew, lapwing and a few redshank. The breeding successes of the latter three are adversely affected by disturbance from recreational users and their dogs so have not fared so well in recent years. All six native reptiles are found in the New Forest, as well as three species of newt, the common frog and common toad. The New Forest is also home to Britain's only poisonous snake, the adder.
4. Rutland Water is all about ospreys. The first attempts to attract ospreys to Rutland Water started in 1986, but it wasn't until 1996 that the project really took off with the first translocation of young ospreys from Scotland. From 1996 - 2001 64 ospreys were translocated from Scotland. The first major success happened in 2001 when a single chick was reared at Rutland Water. Of course, there is a great deal more to see than just ospreys, but it is those magnificent predators that have given Rutland Water the profile it has today.
Aside from these spots, there are more nature reserves all over the U.K. where you can see wildlife and appreciate them and their role in maintaining the balance of our ecosystem.