14 September 2016
Jersey’s work to protect and conserve its natural environment is featured in a UK report published today which shows more than one in ten UK species are threatened with extinction.
The State of Nature 2016 report, the work of more than 50 leading wildlife and research organisations, includes the work done by Jersey’s Environment Department and partner organisations to develop an integrated monitoring strategy covering butterflies, birds, bats, amphibians, reptiles and plants, as well as highlighting the recently opened Jersey Biodiversity Centre which now currently holds over 400,000 records of more than 7,000 species for Jersey.
Threat of disappearing
The report reveals that over half (56%) of UK species studied have declined since 1970, while more than one in ten (1,199 species) of the nearly 8000 species assessed in the UK are under threat of disappearing from our shores altogether.
The national trends are reflected in Jersey and highlighted in a report on the state of Jersey’s environment, launched yesterday. The Environment in Figures, published every five years, suggested that sites under conservation management are in a good state of health, but that wildlife is declining in other areas, such as those dominated by agriculture or housing.
Minister for the Environment Deputy Steve Luce said “The State of Nature report is unambiguous about the significant work to be done to reverse the decline in wildlife across the UK. It’s reflected locally in Jersey, as The Environment in Figures report released by my department yesterday shows - in areas without active management and protection our natural biodiversity is declining.
“However, while the downward negative trend gives great cause for concern, I’m encouraged by the evidence that active conservation management and a change of practice, by the agricultural sector in particular, makes a significant difference.
“I’m also pleased to see the development of successful and growing partnerships between the Department of the Environment and local organisations in developing monitoring projects and helping reverse the decline of species like the agile frog, the cirl bunting and the red-billed chough.
“Time is running out but if we continue to build on this important long-term work, we can make a difference locally and meet the States strategic priority of protecting and enhancing our natural environment for future generations.”
Conservation management works
Research Ecologist for the Department of the Environment, Nina Cornish said: The UK data in the State of Nature report shows national trends reflect what’s happening on the ground in Jersey. The key message from all the work that’s been done, both here in Jersey and nationally though is the conservation management works, but you have to understand what’s behind the decline to find the solutions. That’s why we put so much effort into working with partners and citizen science volunteers to establish a comprehensive monitoring programme to really get a handle on what’s happening with nature in Jersey.”
Link to the State of Nature 2016 report