# Wednesday, 17 March 2010

According to this article nearly 500 species of plants and animals have disappeared from in England in the last 200 years. A comprehensive audit of native wildlife has found that most of the disappearances have been largely down to human activities. They include species such as the great auk, a flightless seabird which did not exist anywhere else. The survey looked at records and specimens dating back 2,000 years. It found that all but 12 of the 492 species to vanish were lost after 1800. It seems that most of the extinctions are down to increased hunting and fishing, loss of habitat and climate change. The report has offered some encouragement suggesting that recent conservation efforts have been effective where they have been employed. For example the article highlights the red kite which although it had disappeared has now been reintroduced successfully and has numbers in the hundreds. Other species like the corncrake, ladybird spider, sand lizard and polecat are also starting to return which is encouraging.