Belfast Telegraph

Extinction a threat for hundreds of Irish species, report says

A crane flock at sunrise
A crane flock at sunrise
Adrian Rutherford

By Adrian Rutherford

Hundreds of species across the island of Ireland are under threat of extinction, a report has warned.

The State of Nature study calls for a long-term plan to address the crisis.

It reveals that 41% of UK species have declined since 1970 and says that 11% of 2,450 species across Ireland could face extinction, including the small blue butterfly, cuckoo bumblebee and spiny dogfish.

The Northern Ireland section shows a 43% decline in the numbers of nine butterfly species recorded since 2006.

There has been a 66% increase in 41 species of birds since 1994, but the report says the majority of these are common species which are not threatened and does not reflect some long-term declines in farmland birds.

The report blames significant and ongoing changes in how land is managed for agriculture and the ongoing effects of climate change. Pollution is also a major issue.

Daniel Hayhow, lead author on the report, said: "We know more about the UK's wildlife than any other country on the planet. What it is telling us should make us sit up and listen.

A pair of common cranes
A pair of common cranes

"We need to respond more urgently across the board if we are to put nature back where it belongs."

A Reeves’s muntjac
A Reeves’s muntjac

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