Wildlife in peril as biodiversity target missed

Plans to save the UKs wildlife are still failing badly: species are still declining, habitats are still deteriorating, and resources for conservation are still woefully insufficient. These are core messages in the latest assessment by Wildlife and Countryside Link, the umbrella group of which Butterfly Conservation is an active member.

In 2003, Government signed up to the EU target of halting biodiversity loss by 2010. An important new delivery mechanism was established, known as the UK Biodiversity Action Plan. In 2006, Link published a challenge to Government by setting out what we thought the 2010 biodiversity commitment should involve and how progress should be measured.

The latest assessment uses a traffic light system, indicating whether progress has been poor (red), moderate (amber), or good (green). The 2010 assessments are:


Protecting and enhancing threatened species and habitats

Protecting and managing our finest wildlife sites (marine)

Making space for biodiversity (species trends)

Protecting and managing our finest wildlife sites (land)

The most damning part of the report is that these assessments have not changed since 2006, and some have got worse, indicating a worsening situation.

In response, Dr Martin Warren, Chief Executive of Butterfly Conservation said “This is a damning report that shows that the UKs wildlife is still in a dire state. Although the process has galvanised some excellent projects, overall progress has been strangled through lack of resources for nature conservation. The latest round of Government cut-backs will make it far more difficult to turn this round, despite all the rhetoric around a new target for 2020. We desperately need more action and more resources or we will continue to fail”.

Download the final assessment by Wildlife and Countryside Link.