Scotland

One in 11 Scottish species 'at risk of extinction'

Butterfly Image copyright Iain H Leach
Image caption The study says 18% of butterflies are at risk of dying out

One in 11 native species of animals and plants in Scotland is at risk of extinction, a report by 50 wildlife and research organisations has suggested.

The group's State of Nature 2016 report says 18% of butterflies, 15% of dragonflies and 13% of plants face dying out.

Across the UK, 13% of species assessed are under threat of disappearing.

The report calls for "significant investment in the environment to ensure year-on-year improvement".

It says changes in agricultural practices - including the use of pesticides and the loss of hedgerows - are among the biggest factors behind the "widespread decline" of nature.

The State of Nature 2016 UK report will be launched by Sir David Attenborough in London on Wednesday.

It will be followed later by separate launches in Edinburgh, Belfast and Cardiff.

'Serious trouble'

Sir David said: "The natural world is in serious trouble and it needs our help as never before.

"The rallying call issued after the State of Nature report in 2013 has promoted exciting and innovative conservation projects. Landscapes are being restored, special places defended, struggling species being saved and brought back.

"But we need to build significantly on this progress if we are to provide a bright future for nature and for people. The future of nature is under threat and we must work together; governments, conservationists, businesses and individuals, to help it."

The Edinburgh event will be held at the Holyrood Hotel and will be attended by Environment Secretary Roseanna Cunningham, as well as leading conservation and research organisations.

Ms Cunningham said: "This report highlights the challenges which lie ahead in conserving Scotland's wonderful nature.

"The Scottish government is committed to driving forward Scotland's Biodiversity Strategy, the 2020 Challenge for Scotland's Biodiversity, and its accompanying Route Map to 2020.

"We will publish a progress report at the end of this month and early indications show the majority of actions included in the Route Map are on track to achieve their targets.

"We have so much to be proud of in Scotland and so much to protect and enhance. That means we all have much work to do and I look forward to working with our partners to improve the state of nature in Scotland."

'Ambitious action'

Mark Eaton, one of the lead authors on the report, said "ambitious action" was needed to preserve Scotland's natural world.

He said: "Never before have we known this much about the state of nature in Scotland and the threats it is facing.

"The partnership and many landowners are using the knowledge we're gathering to underpin some amazing scientific and conservation work. But more is needed to put nature back where it belongs - we must continue to work to help restore our land and sea for wildlife.

"There is a real opportunity for the Scottish and UK governments to build on these efforts and deliver the significant investment and ambitious action needed to bring nature back from the brink."

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