Dorset wildlife is ‘under threat’ as hundreds of species are now extinct following new report.

The recently released State of Nature report says that more than 400 land and freshwater species recorded in the past are now thought to be extinct across the county.

Animals such as the pearl-bordered fritillary butterfly, shrill carder bee and chough are now no longer present across Dorset.

Dorset Wildlife Trust also says there are still 2,500 species that remain threatened, rare, scare or protected.

Dorset Wildlife Trust's conservation director Imogen Davenport said: “Dorset is famous for its wildlife and wild places from the migrating birds in Poole Harbour and our precious marine habitats to the ancient woodland and traditional wildflower meadows at the Kingcombe National Nature Reserve.

“These wonderful places and wildlife are under threat from pollution, habitat loss and our changing climate. We urgently need more wilder and more natural areas to help wildlife recover, enable nature to adapt to climate change and create healthier, happier, and more prosperous communities.” 

Dorset Echo: Water voles are an endangered species across the UK , photo by Terry WhittakerWater voles are an endangered species across the UK , photo by Terry Whittaker (Image: Terry Whittaker)

The State of Nature report, which is the most comprehensive report of its kind to cover the UK, works with leading professionals from over 50 research and conservation organisations.

It paints a bleak picture for the state of the UK’s wildlife as one in six species are at risk of being lost, whilst the wildlife studied since 1970 has declined by 19 per cent.

Dorset Wildlife Trust, along with its 46 national federation sister trusts, is now calling on politicians to commit to repairing the damage caused to nature. 

The policies they are proposing are: to bring back the UK’s lost wildlife, end river pollution and water scarcity, fund wildlife friendly farming, enable healthy communities and tackle the climate emergency by protecting and restoring natural habitats.

Craig Bennett, chief executive of The Wildlife Trusts, said: “The State of Nature report is a stark reminder that politicians must not let nature drop down the agenda – there is far too much at stake.

“We desperately need better policies that fund nature-friendly farming properly, end the poisoning of lakes and rivers, and create larger wild and more natural areas – including in towns and cities.  

“This next parliament is the most important in my lifetime for nature and climate action. The clock is ticking towards the 2030 deadline by which point the UK Government has committed to protect at least 30 per cent of land and sea for nature and to halve the risks posed by pesticides.

“Nature recovery is fundamental to tackling climate change and improving people’s lives – history will not be kind to politicians that ignore this truth.”