There are many reasons why wildlife is facing so many challenges these days, habitat destruction and climate change being right at the top of the list. Habitats are being destroyed to make way for housing, sports developments, and mineral and fuel extraction while climate is changing quicker than most species are able to adapt and move themselves to more suitable areas.
The reports are full of statistics such as:
Over the long term, 44% of bird species declined and 56% increased. Among these, 30% showed
strong or moderate declines, 39% showed little change, and 31% showed strong or moderate increases.
Over the short term, 54% of bird species declined and 46% increased. Among these, 49% showed strong
or moderate decreases, 24% showed little change and 27% showed strong or moderate increases.
So although many species are declining some are increasing (such as red kites, which we enjoyed seeing on our recent holiday in Dumfries). The overall picture however is one of steady decline in many species, a steady deterioration in the landscapes and wildlife around us. Which is tragic news for nature and for those of us who love nature.
The report highlights some of the ways in which we can help wildlife, though for example wildlife friendly farming practices and offers overviews of the state of various wildlife habitats (eg woodland and marine habitats). We need to offer a lot more help to nature if it is to thrive, but I do think that in many areas of the world there is the desire to do this - for example in Edinburgh the Living Landscape Project has recently planted wildflower meadows in the cities parks which are great for pollinators (you can see my blog post about these wildflower meadows here). (On the other hand Edinburgh is planning to expand to a huge extent in the near future, destroying large areas of farmland, including (probably) the fields at Cammo which I've blogged about here).
The State of Nature Report is essential, but sobering, reading for anyone concerned with the state of nature in the UK.
You can read the full State of Nature Scotland report here and the UK report here.