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Conservation charity calls for action on wildlife

By Western Morning News  |  Posted: October 30, 2012

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Declines in our wildlife can be reversed if we use all the tried and tested means available to usaccording to the Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust (GWCT).

The organisation hosted a wildlife conference last week at a critical time for many of our birds, insects, mammals and plants – with Government minister Richard Benyon giving the keynote address.

"There is so much we can do for wildlife if we act together and use the hard evidence we have gathered through careful research over the last few years," insisted Professor Nick Sotherton, Director of Research at GWCT.

GWCT has been at the heart of much of the work aimed at helping our much loved species such as lapwings, yellowhammers, hares, water voles and the insects and plants they depend upon.

The wildlife research charity, originally established as a research organisation over 80 years ago, to help save the much-loved grey partridge, has looked at all the key factors which determine whether a wild species prospers or declines.

These include:

A secure place to breed

Enough food for both young and adults of the species over the year

Protection from predation where this is a threat to breeding success

Professor Sotherton went on: "We have to ask ourselves, do we know how to help our wildlife recover and if we do, why can't we get on with it? We need everyone to pull together."

Mr Benyon, Minister for Natural Environment, Water and Rural Affairs, set out the government's plans for achieving the Biodiversity 2020 outcomes, drawing upon the insights provided by the findings set out at the conference.

The topics covered by the conference, held at the Royal Geographical Society last Thursday included the use of farming policies to make the most of our farmland wildlife, how to make sure our wild species can find food in the depths of winter, rear their young in the critical spring months and survive the attentions of the many common predators whose impact may sometimes and in some circumstances be too much for species already under pressure.

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