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Unsustainable fishing and hunting for bushmeat driving iconic species to extinction – IUCN Red List 

Overfishing has pushed two families of rays to the brink of extinction, while hunting for bushmeat and habitat loss have led to the decline of seven primate species, according to the latest update of The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.  

The update also reveals further evidence of the perilous state of freshwater fishes globally. This is shown by high numbers of species threatened by the loss of free flowing rivers, habitat degradation, pollution and invasive species in Japan and Mexico.

The IUCN Red List has broken through the 100,000 species barrier; it now includes assessments for 105,732 species, of which 28,338 species are threatened with extinction.

“With more than 100,000 species now assessed for the IUCN Red List, this update clearly shows how much humans around the world are overexploiting wildlife,” said IUCN Acting Director General, Dr Grethel Aguilar. “We must wake up to the fact that conserving nature’s diversity is in our interest, and is absolutely fundamental to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. States, businesses and civil society must urgently act to halt the overexploitation of nature, and must respect and support local communities and Indigenous Peoples in strengthening sustainable livelihoods.”

“This Red List update confirms the findings of the recent IPBES Global Biodiversity Assessment: nature is declining at rates unprecedented in human history,” said Jane Smart, Global Director of the IUCN Biodiversity Conservation Group. “Both national and international trade are driving the decline of species in the oceans, in freshwater and on land. Decisive action is needed at scale to halt this decline; the timing of this assessment is critical as governments are starting to negotiate a new global biodiversity framework for such action.”


Invasive alien species: management measures for widely spread species in England and Wales - Defra Open consultation  

Seeking views on proposed management measures for invasive alien species (also known as invasive non-native species) which are widely spread in England and Wales.
This consultation closes on 12 September 2019

Consultation description: We want to know what you think about our plans for managing invasive alien species (IAS) which are widely spread in England and Wales. These plans set out how we will effectively manage these species as required in The Invasive Alien Species (Enforcement and Permitting) Order 2019.

There are 14 species identified as being widely spread in England and Wales and requiring management.

Take part in the consultation here. 


Spot a once in a decade butterfly phenomenon - Butterfly Conservation

Chris Packham is urging wildlife lovers to take part in the world’s largest insect citizen science survey to help reveal if the UK is experiencing a once in a decade butterfly phenomenon. Unusually high numbers of Painted Lady butterflies have been reported across Europe over the spring and early summer with large numbers now spotted crossing over into the UK.

The butterfly is a common immigrant that migrates in varying numbers from the Continent to the UK each summer, where its caterpillars feed on thistles. But around once every 10 years the UK experiences a Painted Lady ‘summer’ when millions of the butterflies arrive en masse.

Painted Lady (image: Bob Eade, Butterfly Conservation)Painted Lady (image: Bob Eade, Butterfly Conservation)

Butterfly Conservation Vice-president and wildlife broadcaster Chris Packham is calling on nature lovers to take part in the Big Butterfly Count over the next three weeks to help reveal if we are experiencing a Painted Lady year.

The last mass immigration took place in 2009 when around 11 million Painted Ladies descended widely across the UK.

Chris said: “The Painted Lady migration is one of the wonders of the natural world. Travelling up to 1km in the sky and at speeds of up to 30 miles per hour these seemingly fragile creatures migrate hundreds of miles to reach our shores each year.

The Big Butterfly Count, celebrating its 10th birthday this year, is the world’s largest butterfly survey. Participants are encouraged to spot and record 17 species of common butterfly, including the Painted Lady, and two day-flying moths in the UK during three weeks of high summer.

Last year more than 100,000 people counted over one million butterflies in total during the Count. 


Alleged illegal tree felling investigation report: Sheffield’s Streets Ahead programme - Forestry England decision

An investigation report by the Forestry Commission into alleged illegal felling of street trees by Sheffield City Council

Having reviewed the evidence, the Forestry Commission has concluded that, on balance, there is insufficient evidence to say that an offence of felling without a felling licence has been committed by Sheffield City Council (SCC) and its contractor, Amey. However, the Forestry Commission has identified a number of lessons to be learnt regarding the Streets Ahead programme, which it urges SCC and other local authorities to note and reflect in future operations.

The Forestry Commission has also published an operations note on highway tree management to provide an updated good practice guide for highway tree management.

Read the decision notices. 


Countryside access – who is your winner? - Open Country

Yorkshire charity Open Country  is urging people to nominate countryside sites and attractions across the county going the extra mile to improve access for disabled people. 

Open Country’s Good Access Scheme award recognises the best countryside ‘access for all’ projects across Yorkshire. Outdoor sites can be nominated by the disabled people who use them or by the staff or volunteers who manage them. Previous winners have included a number of nature reserves as well as landowners such as Yorkshire Water who are working creatively to unlock the countryside for people of all abilities.  Launched in 2015, the Good Access Scheme awards are judged annually by Open Country’s Advisory Group, made up of disabled members alongside volunteers and Trustees of the charity. 

Chief Officer of Open Country, David Shaftoe, says: “Whether it’s a scheme to improve pathways or innovative projects for people with a sensory impairment, we’d love to hear about countryside sites going the extra mile to welcome disabled people. On your trips into the Yorkshire countryside this year keep in mind our award scheme and if you have an idea for a worthy winner, please do let us know." 

Anyone who would like to make a nomination for this prestigious award should contact Open Country by email at info@opencountry.org.uk by the end of October outlining the ways in which the outdoor site or project has enhanced their disabled access. For more information visit www.opencountry.org.uk or call 01423 507227.


Scientific Publication

Zhao, Q, Arnold, TW, Devries, JH, Howerter, DW, Clark, RG, Weegman, MD. Land-use change increases climatic vulnerability of migratory birds: Insights from integrated population modelling. J Anim Ecol. 2019; 00: 1– 13. doi:.1111/1365-2656.13043  


Balestrieri, A. , Remonti, L. , Saino, N. and Raubenheimer, D. (2019), The ‘omnivorous badger dilemma’: towards an integration of nutrition with the dietary niche in wild mammals. Mam Rev. doi:10.1111/mam.12164


Alaniz, AJ, Perez-Quezada, JF, Galleguillos, M, Vásquez, AE, Keith, DA. Operationalizing the IUCN Red List of Ecosystems in public policy. Conservation Letters. 2019;e12665. doi: 10.1111/conl.12665 Open Access


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Disclaimer: the views expressed in these news pages do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of CJS.