News Article

The SHOCK factor

Student Keri Russell provides the latest set of shocking environmental facts!

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  • In the first decade of this century, we lost around 25% of our native hedgehogs (Erinaceus europaeus).  Hedgehog numbers are declining by up to 10.7% each year approximately.  You can help by creating corridors that link your gardens, by not using things like slug pellets, which are really dangerous to hedgehogs. You could also buy hedgehog food and shelters for them; remember to check log piles etc before making bonfires, hedghogs have been killed by this before.
  • Since 1970 Cambridgeshire has lost 66 species of wildflower and Essex has lost 68 species! This has been due to over use of strong herbicides, poor woodland management, destruction of habitat etc.  This has a devastating knock on effect for pollinators like butterflies, but especially bees which are key to our food production!
  • The Scottish Wildcat (Felis sylvestris)is thought now to be maybe less than 35 purebreds in the wild.  This is mainly due to people not neutering their domestic cats and these hybridise with our only native felid.
  • The UK’s population of skylarks (Alauda arvensis) is only 10% of what it was 30 years ago.  This is due to intensive farming but probably also due to how our gardens are maintained.
  • What you do with your energy usage affects species world wide, your carbon emissions can affect things like climate change.  One species severely affected by this is polar bears (Ursus maritimus) who rely on pack ice; this is now disappearing meaning some polar bears are at risk of drowning in search somewhere to rest and eat.

Keri Russell is a 3rd year Ecology & Conservation student, Course Rep for: Marine Biology, Ecology & Conservation, Ecology & Conservation, Wildlife Biology, Marine Biology/Wildlife Biology, President of the Wildlife Society and also hosts the ARU Wild show on Cam FM. 


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