Chris Packham, a well known naturalist in the UK, has recently expressed great concerns over the lack of wildlife he’s observed in Britain in 2018, an island that he believes is now heading towards an ‘ecological collapse’ unless serious action is soon taken.
According to the naturalist, the country has become increasingly ‘green and unpleasant,’ as its biodiversity continues to diminish.
‘Each night I read the stats on our Springwatch birds… Marsh Tit -75% , Yellowhammer -56% , Willow Warbler -44% , Yellow Wagtail -67% , Skylark -59% , Corn Bunting -89% and I just wonder how much worse we need to let it get before we actually do something.’
It is estimated that 90 million UK wild birds have been lost since Packham first developed an interest in wildlife in the 70s.
Swift migrations to Britain have been dropping in recent years and Turtle Dove numbers have declined by 95% since 1990.
A 2016 report by State of Nature has indicated that Britain is one of the most depleted countries of wildlife, with 40% of species in moderate or steep decline.
‘Our generation is presiding over an ecological apocalypse and we’ve somehow normalised it.’ Packham wrote on twitter.
Wildflowers as well, now seem to be a rarity to the naturalist, as they are presented in ‘natural art installations,’ but beyond protected reserves, he observed rolling hills devoid of flowers. ‘Where’s the pink of ragged robin? The yellow of flag iris? The other colours are not there.’
Packham also observed that the extent of ecological decimation in the UK doesn’t just include wildlife and plants, but insects as well.
‘I’ve been in my garden for the last couple of days. Sunny, plenty of wildflowers. Not a single butterfly. Not one. Nothing. And in the woods a handful of Speckled Woods. I think we are at a point of absolute crisis in our countryside.’
A recent scientific report showed a 76% drop in flying insect numbers over the past 25 years in Germany, including butterflies, bees and wasps.
The implications from this study are potentially catastrophic on a global scale, as insects play a vital part in ecosystems, whether its pollinating crops and plants, predating on other insects, or being essential prey for other animals.
Rapidly declining insect numbers are thought to be linked with the spraying of pesticides on crops and the destruction of wild areas.
Climate change may also play a big part due to severe and unpredictable temperature changes in recent years.
Many studies indicate that decreasing numbers of birds and other animals is largely due to there being less insects available for them to eat.
Packham and other participants will be taking part in a 10 day Bioblitz this July. During the event they will be traveling all over Britain, counting and observing wildlife numbers in different habitats, including allotments, nature reserves, parks farmlands and roadside verges.
He urged others to participate in the Bioblitz, and more importantly wants to inspire people to realize the importance of preserving wildlife within the UK.
‘We need a peaceful public uprising. We need people to say we’ve had enough.’ He told The Guardian.
‘We have the ability to fix our countryside.’