A Quarter of the UK's Native Mammals Are at Risk of Extinction

By Holly Brockwell on at

A new report warns that the UK needs to take urgent action if we're going to save a quarter of our native mammals from extinction.

The Red List is a detailed study of the status of mammals in the UK, including threats to their survival, habitats and populations.

Professor Fiona Mathews from the Mammal Society tells the BBC:

"When we draw all the evidence together - about population size and how isolated and fragmented those populations are - we come up with this list of 11 of our 47 native species being threatened imminently. And there are more species that are categorised as 'near threatened'.

That means that we need to keep an eye on these species, because while we don't yet have a red flag waving, they're still abundant enough to be able to turn things around.

While we bemoan the demise of wildlife in other parts of the world, here in Britain we are managing to send even rodents towards extinction.

Things have to change rapidly if we want our children and grandchildren to enjoy the wildlife we take for granted."

These are the species most at risk, according to the list:

Image: the Mammal Society

The reasons for endangerment vary by species, but one big factor is the lack of undeveloped green space for animals to live peacefully in.

As Dr Kat Fingland from Nottingham Trent University puts it, "We need[...] to make space for nature and build around it, rather than trying to move animals out of the way when we want to build."

The list will hopefully give conservation organisations an overview of where funding and protection are most urgently needed, before it's too late.

If only Batman protected actual bats, eh? [BBC]

Main image by Michael Gäbler, CC BY-SA 3.0