EU concerned about farming impact on its wildlife

2015-05-20 14:49


Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Brussels - About half of wild birds have a secure status as EU programmes to protect endangered species have boosted numbers, but some of their habitats are cause for major concern largely because of intensive farming, an EU report found on Wednesday.

The State of Nature in the European Union report for the years 2007-2012 found 17% of species, including some birds of prey, are threatened.

Another 15% are near threatened or in decline. These include once common birds, such as the skylark.

Researchers from the European Environment Agency found in their most extensive six-year assessment yet that the state of natural habitats was even more worrying and most have an unfavourable conservation status.

Grasslands, wetlands and dune habitats were of particular concern, the report found, adding that the main threats were agricultural practices, such as over-grazing, fertilisation and pesticides.

Environment Commissioner Karmenu Vellasaid the research showed that efforts to improve vulnerable ecosystems can be very effective but it "underlines the scale of the challenges that remain".

Among the birds to have benefited from targeted EU conservation action were bearded vultures and white-headed ducks, whose numbers have improved substantially, the report found.

Campaign groups said the report showed the need for vigorous EU law to protect the environment and policy-makers should not be distracted by Eurosceptic arguments against Brussels interference.

"A thriving natural world is crucial for everybody's health and wellbeing, so the EU would be foolish to undermine nature protections in the name of cutting red tape," Robbie Blake, Friends of the Earth Europe biodiversity campaigner, said.

Read more on:    belgium  |  conservation  |  animals

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
1 comment
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.