Many of the common animals we see today are about to enter the endangered species list and it is all thanks to climate change.
The UK is facing a serious threat as far as imminent extinction of some of its marine wildlife is concerned. The puffin and the turtle dove are just two examples of our fine feathered friends that have populations that are dying right before our very eyes. They may in fact be now included in the same category as the African elephant and the lion.
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According to BBC, four UK birds including Atlantic puffins, European turtle doves, Slavonian grebes and pochards are on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species.
Then come the African vulture which is also now threatened with extinction. They are part of the half a dozen species that are on the red list. The poisoned baits laid by poachers for other animals also end up destroying these scavengers.
Furthermore, the usage of the vulture’s bones in traditional medicine of the region has also played its part in decimating the population. A worldwide phase of animals keeling over and dying due to human stupidity has started and it is not going to be forestalled anytime soon.
The problem is that instead of Africa being the locus of the issue, now Europe is also entering the roster of nations that have dying populations of birds and animals.
The traditional conservationist grounds which were the tropics seem not to have a monopoly anymore on the extinction conundrum. The devastation of wildlife and wilderness in the UK is something which has led to environmentalists standing up and taking notice.
Both Iceland and Norway bear the brunt of the burden along with the United Kingdom. Take the case of puffins. The rising temperatures have caused them much chagrin and extreme weather conditions also affected the species that constituted their prey.
Certain species of vermin and pests have ransacked the environment too. These include within their ranks: rats, cats and minks. The turtle dove also saw a downfall in number by as much as 30% which is phenomenal and sad. This took place over the past 16 years.
Research is being carried out to find the exact reasons behind the extinctions and also to discover ways of rehabilitating these birds and beasts. Even the Slavonian Grebe faces lean times.
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Many wading birds that used to be seen on the shores of the UK are now hardly visible. These include the curlew, the sandpiper and the lapwing. Steps will have to be taken to reverse this fearsome trend otherwise a dark future awaits our animal and avian cousins.