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UK plans to bring 20 species back from brink of extinction

发布时间:2019-03-01 04:08:00来源:未知点击:

Iain Leech/Heritage Lottery Fund/PA Wire By New Scientist staff and Press Association Efforts to save some of the UK’s rarest species from extinction are being backed by £4.6 million in lottery funding. Little-known insects such as the bearded false darkling beetle and the royal splinter cranefly, as well as plants including the prostrate perennial knawel and interrupted brome are among the 20 species being targeted for action. A further 200 threatened species will also be helped by the funding from the National Lottery, including pine martens, large garden bumblebees, lesser butterfly orchids and hedgehogs. The money will support the Back from the Brink initiative to bring together leading charities and conservation bodies in the first nationwide coordinated effort to safeguard species from extinction and deliver conservation measures across England. The scheme aims to boost conservation efforts in 150 key habitats and landscapes, and recruit and teach more than 5,500 volunteers the skills they need to study, identify and look after threatened species. Massimiliano Sticca/Heritage Lottery Fund/PA Wire Projects include restoring Dorset heathland, bringing back locally extinct plants in agricultural land, create a network of grasslands in the Cotswolds, manage Sefton’s dunes to help species recover, conserve Breckland grass heaths and restore and manage Rockingham Forest sites. As part of the programme, wildlife charity Butterfly Conservation will reintroduce the chequered skipper butterfly to Rockingham Forest, near Corby, Northamptonshire, after it became extinct in England in 1975. The butterfly was once found in a strip of woodland and grassland from Oxfordshire to Lincolnshire, but died out in England as a result of the decline in coppicing in woodland which led to its preferred habitat of woodland rides becoming overgrown. Next spring, Butterfly Conservation will collect 30 to 50 adults from healthy populations in Belgium and release them into a secret site in Rockingham, with the hope of more introductions in the future. Stephen Dalton/Heritage Lottery Fund/PA Wire “Bugs, beetles, ants, spiders and other invertebrates make up the majority of species on the brink of extinction,” says Matt Shardlow, chief executive of Buglife, another of the charities involved. “It is fantastic that this pathfinding partnership project will pull back so many species that could otherwise disappear forever.” “Our natural environment has never been more imperilled,” says Shardlow. “Dedicated work to rescue endangered plants and animals is a cornerstone of any sensible broader strategy to restore a thriving countryside.” Government conservation agency Natural England’s chairman Andrew Sells says the Back from the Brink programme represented a “groundbreaking approach” to nature conservation. “Bringing these species back from the brink cannot be achieved by one group alone,” he says. “But by pooling resources and developing new ideas, this project will add vital momentum to all our efforts.” Read more: United States of extinction: Threat to America’s iconic animal; End of species extinctions is in sight as we bring animals back; Antelope revived in Sahara years after going extinct in the wild   More on these topics: