Butterflies are the sad leader of the most endangered species in the United Kingdom

2010 - 03 - 11
Butterflies are the sad leader of the most endangered species in the UK

Nearly 500 animal and plant species have become extinct in the UK over the past two centuries. Butterflies and amphibians are the most affected groups. This comes out of a report entitled “The Lost Life” published today in London by the Natural England organization.

Nearly 1,000 species of British flora and fauna, including squirrel and European eel, have acquired priority protection status.

“The Lost Life” report was published on the occasion of the International Year of Biodiversity, the first ever audit of all the extinct and disappearing animal and plant species in the UK.

The decline in biodiversity on the British Isles is due to habitat loss, environmental pollution, and pressure from non-native species. Species have been lost in all the major flora and fauna groups. The recently extinct species include the greater mouse-eared bat and red-underwing skipper butterfly.

The report also highlighted some successes, such as the return of the predatory red kite bird or large blue butterfly to British nature.

“The dramatic loss of butterflies is not just about British nature; it is a problem throughout Europe. That is why protecting these small gems of European nature is one of our priorities,” said Director Dalibor Dostal of the European Wildlife conservation organization.

Photo: Wikimedia / PJC&Co

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