The British countryside is facing unprecedented “wildlife in crisis”

Channel 4 News finds that iconic species and habitats in Britain are facing ‘wipeout’.

As a result it is running a special series, ‘Green and Pleasant Land’.

“In just a few decades, we’ve lost 44 million birds from our skies, with some species plummeting as much as 90 per cent and facing a very real extinction. Over 70 per cent of our butterfly species are in decline, as well as our bugs and insects on which our whole ecosystem depends, with only 2 per cent of our wildflower meadows still remaining. And the hedgehog is facing the same rapid decline as the tiger, dropping from 36 million in 1950 to just 1 million today.”

These numbers are staggering.

But what does this have to do with business?

  1. Specific businesses in industries such as forestry, tourism, recreation, and food growing depend directly on the ‘ecosystem services‘ of wild species.
  2. Clean water and flood defences also depend to an extent on healthy ecosystems.
  3. An ecosystem is like an aeroplane, with each individual species like a rivet holding the wings on. To begin with we can lose a few species (or rivets) and the wings will still stay on. Beyond a certain point, the loss of any single species can cause the wings to fall off.

There are more details of the Channel 4 series here: http://www.channel4.com/news/green-pleasant-land-british-countryside-nature-crisis

And a 37 minute video here: http://www.channel4.com/news/green-pleasant-land-nature-crisis-google-hangout-video  (Also on Youtube.)

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