Insects, plants vanishing from Britain

Jun 25, 2006

Hundreds of species of British insects and plants have been quietly disappearing while public attention as been focused on birds and mammals.

While three species of breeding birds are known to have vanished in the past 100 years, more than 200 insect species have disappeared in 50 years while 88 species of plants and wildflowers have become extinct in a century, The Independent reported. The newspaper announced that part of the purchase price of every copy sold Saturday will be donated to two environmental groups focused on the less glamorous species.

Environmentalists sometimes refer to large mammals and spectacular birds as "charismatic megafauna," the red squirrels and sea eagles that capture public attention. But invertebrates and plants are a much larger part of the country's natural heritage.

Roger Key of English Nature told The Independent that 88 beetles, 56 butterflies and moths, 20 bees, 17 fly species, 14 bugs and hoppers and 12 wasps have become extinct and many others have greatly reduced numbers.

"The true figure is almost certainly higher," Key said. "There may well be things that have gone extinct that we do not know about."

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

Explore further: Decreasing biodiversity affects productivity of remaining plants

Related Stories

Tagging and scanning for feral pigs

Apr 17, 2015

Innovative research using GPS tracking and thermal imagery is being used in an attempt to manage the destructive behaviour of feral pigs in the south-west.

Roadkill hot spots identified in California

Apr 17, 2015

An interactive map shows how California's state highway system is strewn with roadkill "hot spots," which are identified in a newly released report by the Road Ecology Center at the University of California, Da ...

First hatch of critically endangered species

Apr 15, 2015

Six tiny nestlings at San Diego Zoo Global's facilities in Hawai'i are being closely watched by conservation biologists. These six chicks represent hope for a small Hawaiian bird species known as the 'Akikiki. ...

Recommended for you

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.