One in nine Scots species at risk of extinction

Istock-178506233 (1)

WWF Scotland calls for urgent action ahead of major environmental summits. 

27th December 2019 by Gavin Stuart 0 Comments

More than 10% of Scotland’s native species are at risk of extinction, a conservation charity has warned.

WWF Scotland said the outlook is bleak for one in nine species, including red squirrels, Scottish wildcats and capercaillies.

The charity is now calling for urgent action to protect threatened species as Scotland prepares to host two major environmental summits.

In April, the country will host the UN Conference of Biological Diversity, while the COP26 climate change talks come to Glasgow in November.

WWF Scotland said these international events should spur ministers into recognising the importance of the country’s natural environment and taking steps to protect it.

The charity wants to see more funding for habitat management and restoration, new environmental legislation, and the creation of a watchdog to hold the government legally accountable for nature recovery. 

It is also calling on the Scottish Government to play a leading role in drawing the links between the climate and nature crises, and championing nature-based solutions such as restoring forests and peatlands.

Lang Banks, WWF Scotland director, said: “Important decisions will be made here in Scotland in 2020 about the future of nature around the world and the links to the climate crisis. That’s why it’s so important we have our own house in order. 

“This means stepping up ambition to restore our amazing nature - we cannot tackle the climate crisis without addressing the emergency facing our most precious species. We need new action and funding for nature, environmental legislation with bold targets and a strong watchdog to hold the government legally accountable for halting and reversing the loss of our precious habitats and species.”

RSPB Scotland’s Paul Walton, lead author of the State of Nature Scotland report, added:

“With two key global conferences, on biodiversity and climate, both happening in Scotland in 2020, the eyes of the world will be on our country.

“How we prioritise, support and fund the twin climate and nature crises, how we use our ingenuity to find innovative solutions that genuinely deliver for both, will be under scrutiny.

“Peatland restoration, effective management of kelp beds and salt marshes, tree planting that delivers diverse and flourishing native woodland alongside timber production, better management of agricultural soils and habitats and a step-up in targeted species conservation, will be among the key pointers to success.”