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British mammals at risk of extinction

Almost one in five of British mammal species face a high risk of extinction, according to the first comprehensive review of their populations for more than 20 years launched this week by The Mammal Society and Natural England.

The red squirrel, wildcat and the grey long-eared bat are all facing severe threats to their survival.

Other mammals such as the hedgehog and water vole have seen their populations decline by up to 66% over the past 20 years.

Red Squirrel by Malcolm Welch

Climate change and pesticides

Climate change, loss of habitat, use of pesticides and road deaths are all putting pressure on some of the best loved and most recognisable of Britain’s 58 terrestrial mammals.  

Prof Fiona Mathews, Mammal Society Chair and professor of Environmental Biology at the University of Sussex, says
This is happening on our own doorstep so it falls upon all of us to try and do what we can to ensure that our threatened species do not go the way of the lynx, wolf and elk and disappear from our shores forever.

Urgent need for research 

The Mammal Society is now calling for more research to be carried out urgently to get a clearer and more accurate picture of Britain’s mammal populations.
The report highlights an urgent requirement for more research to assess population densities in key habitats because at present, uncertainty levels are unacceptably high. It is possible that declines in many species are being overlooked because a lack of robust evidence precludes assessment.





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