A new report by the WWF showing the alarming decline in wildlife populations must be a ‘wake up call’ to the Scottish Government, the Scottish Greens have said.
The global report reveals global numbers of mammals, birds, fish and insects have fallen by two-thirds since 1970, including a drastic decline in numbers of the Arctic Skua in Orkney.
The report comes after the Mammal Society included Scottish species the wildcat, red squirrel, beaver and mountain hare in its red list, and after the Scottish Government’s own biodiversity figures published this summer revealed Scottish species populations have dropped by a quarter since 1994, with no sign of this decline slowing.
Commenting, Scottish Greens environment spokesperson Mark Ruskell said: “The mounting evidence that Scotland’s nature emergency is deepening is impossible to ignore. It is a catastrophe which the Scottish Government must act now to halt.
“We’ve had years of neglect, prioritising vested interests over wildlife protection, and failing to take opportunities, particularly when it comes to targeting farming subsidies better. What’s more, the Scottish Government has ignored our calls for better protections for species like beavers, and still not acted to introduce the ban on killing of mountain hares the parliament voted for.
“If we are going to reverse this alarming decline in Scotland’s nature, the Scottish Government needs to act now. That means urgent interventions to protect those species that are in freefall, a national programme to rewild and restore degraded uplands, strengthening the planning system so that the natural world cannot be sacrificed to poor developments, and making agricultural subsidies conditional on respecting and enhancing the environment. The solutions are there, it’s the political will that’s missing”