AND grey long-eared bats see:
Owl has also recently received the following e-mail (site location unknown):
Is this a lost cause?”
(Owl advised contacting the planning officer – bat surveys only have a short validity)
Hedgehogs, squirrels and voles on extinction risk list
A quarter of Britain’s native mammal species, including hedgehogs, red squirrels and water voles, are officially at risk of extinction, a pioneering assessment shows.
The new Red List drawn up by the Mammal Society meets international criteria used to assess threats to wildlife such as elephants and tigers and shows that 11 of our 47 native mammals are at risk of dying out.
They have become endangered because of threats ranging from historical persecution to the use of chemicals, loss of habitat and the introduction of non-native species.
At greatest risk are wildcats, of which there are fewer than 20 in the wild in Scotland, and greater mouse-eared bats, with only one known individual. Both species are classed as critically endangered.
Hedgehogs and hazel dormice are classed as vulnerable to extinction, and five species, including mountain hares and harvest mice, are judged to be nearing threatened status.
A report from 2018 found that the hedgehog population fell by almost 70 per cent in 20 years. The European wolf, brown bears and lynxes were all once native to Britain but became extinct hundreds of years ago. Beavers were hunted to extinction by the 1600s but were later reintroduced. They are once again classed as endangered, the second most threatened category, as are water voles, red squirrels and grey long-eared bats.
Tony Juniper, chairman of Natural England, said that it was not too late to act.
Fiona Mathews, chairwoman of the Mammal Society, said that the Red List showed the need for changes to the planning system, where sustained monitoring of habitats and funding for habitat creation were needed.
“Once an animal becomes endangered it’s a scramble for time to put measures in place to rescue them, so we need to be taking a hard look at the species on the next level down so that it doesn’t become a crisis. It’s about right across the whole of the landscape, whether it’s urban areas, peri-urban areas or rural areas, we are making space so other animals can get the resources they need, food and shelter, because that’s the only realistic way forward.”
Professor Mathews is concerned about water voles, saying they have slipped off the radar. She added that hopes for wildcats now lay in captive breeding and possible reintroductions.
Beavers are doing well in the “isolated places” where they have been resettled but they are few and far between and face persecution that could kill them off again.
The Red List was produced by the Mammal Society for the government agencies Natural England, Natural Resources Wales, Scottish Natural Heritage and the Joint Nature Conservation Committee. It is the first time it has been formally accepted by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature on a regional basis, which means it meets the internationally agreed criteria for assessing threats to wildlife.
British species facing extinction
Critically endangered Wildcat, greater mouse-eared bat
Beaver, red squirrel, water vole, grey long-eared batVulnerable
Hedgehog, hazel dormouse, Orkney vole, Serotine bat, Barbastelle batNear threatened
Mountain hare, harvest mouse, lesser white-toothed shrew, Leisler’s bat, Nathusius’s pipistrelleExtinct