UK's Biodiversity in Crisis

1,149 British plant and animal species need special protection, according to the UK Biodiversity Action Plan, which this week released its updated list of priority species and habitats.

The revised list -- now containing twice as many species as it did ten years ago -- contains such iconic British creatures as the hedgehog, house sparrow and harvest mouse, as well as more than 20% of all British bird species.

The Plan "will be used to decide which species and habitats should be targeted for conservation work in an effort to halt the loss of biodiversity by 2010," according to a report in The Times.

The Action Plan actually has a good track record. Since it was first initiated 12 years ago, 123 species have rebounded well enough to be removed from the priority conservation list.

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Issue 25

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