The sixth extinction: The UK's most at-risk species and the fight to halt nature's decline

15% – That’s the proportion of species that are formally classified as at risk of extinction in Great Britain. Of 8,431 species in Britain that have been assessed against the International Union for the Conservation of Nature’s ‘red list’ categories, 1,188 are considered critically endangered, endangered or vulnerable. This means they are formally classified as threatened and therefore at risk of extinction.

The last mass extinction, which wiped out three-quarters of the plant and animal species on Earth, followed an asteroid impact 66 million years ago. This time, humanity is driving the die-off. Species’ populations are being driven downward by agriculture, climate change, urbanisation, pollution and invasive species. 

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