• Germany edition
 
Study: third of German species under threat
Photo: J. Philipp/BUND/DPA

Study: third of German species under threat

Published: 27 Mar 2014 08:12 GMT+01:00
Updated: 27 Mar 2014 08:12 GMT+01:00

Just under a third of the country's 48,000 different animal species and 24,000 plant and fungi species are seriously threatened or are affected by a considerable decline in numbers.

These are the findings of a government study presented by Environment Minister Barbara Hendricks on Wednesday.

Only 25 percent of species populations were classified by the study's authors as being in a "good" state. Meanwhile, 29 percent were in a "bad" condition, especially butterflies, amphibians and migratory fish. 

"If we want to keep our endangered animals and plants in Germany, we need to change course in several areas," said Hendricks in a statement.

Energy policy, agriculture and flood defences were key areas where strategic changes were necessary to help stop populations declining further, she said.

The study said the main causes of population decline were intensive agriculture and widespread use of fertilizers, as well as the loss of natural habitats to farming.

The minister said encouragement could be taken from improvement in some areas, with conservationists succeeding in bringing some species such as wild cats or sea eagles back from the brink.

"Here we can see that successes are possible in conservation," said Hendricks. "But in other areas nature is doing alarmingly badly.

"Butterflies and bees, for example, are suffering from the turning of flower-rich meadows into maize fields," she said.

The minister also called to an end to the expansions of biomass plantations. 

"Today energy plants are growing on more than 17 percent of German fields - that is enough," she said.

"Habitats used for agriculture are generally in a poor state from a conservation point of view," said Beate Jessel, head of the Federal Office for Nature Conservation (BfN) in the joint press statement, pointing to the loss of river meadows as a further cause of problems. 

"River meadows do not only protect humans from flooding, they are also of vital importance to the survival of many species," she warned. 

SEE ALSO: Germany spends millions on animal-only bridges

For more stories about Germany, join us on Facebook and Twitter

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Don't miss...X
Left Right

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Netflix to launch in Germany in September
Laverne Cox, star of Netflix series Orange is the New Black. Photo: EPA/PETER FOLEY

Netflix to launch in Germany in September

Netflix revealed plans on Monday to launch in Germany in September this year, bringing the popular movie and TV streaming service to one of the world’s biggest markets. READ  

Steinmeier: We'll raise pressure on Russia
An armed separatist walks past the bodybags of victims of the MH17 crash. Photo: EPA/IGOR KOVALENKO

Steinmeier: We'll raise pressure on Russia

Germany's foreign minister said Monday the EU will "raise the pressure" on Russia over the Ukraine crisis following the downing of Malaysian flight MH17 with a suspected missile. READ  

No foreigner road toll for German borders?
Bavaria's Interior Minister Joachim Herrmann (l) and Bavarian state premier Horst Seehofer are fighting over the "foreigner toll". Photo: DPA

No foreigner road toll for German borders?

Bavaria’s interior minister has called for German border regions to be exempt from a controversial project to charge foreigners to use the country’s roads, sparking a row within his own party. READ  

German Jews condemn 'explosion of hate'
Pro-Palestine demonstration in Berlin on July 12th. Photo:DPA

German Jews condemn 'explosion of hate'

The American Jewish Committee in Berlin has filed a complaint with the city's police about anti-Semitic slogans being chanted at pro-Palestine rallies, while Germany's Jewish community on Monday condemned an "explosion of evil and violent hatred of Jews". READ  

Aldi founder Karl Albrecht dies aged 94
Karl Albrecht. Photo: Aldi Süd/DPA

Aldi founder Karl Albrecht dies aged 94

Karl Albrecht, one of the co-founders of the German discount supermarket chain Aldi and one of the country's richest men, has died aged 94, Aldi announced on Monday. READ  

Spy Scandal
Typewriter manufacturers see boom in sales
The secure desk of the future? Photo: DPA

Typewriter manufacturers see boom in sales

German typewriter manufacturers are enjoying a boom in sales following the NSA spying scandal. A German defence manufacturer switched to typewriters last year, while last week a leading politician called for the government to use the old technology. READ  

At least 18 swimmers die during heatwave
Lifeguards try to rescue a man on the beach in Ückeritz in northern Germany on Sunday. Photo: DPA

At least 18 swimmers die during heatwave

UPDATE: A US student and an eight-year-old boy are among at least 18 swimmers to have died since Friday as bathers try to cool off in a heatwave which has brought highs of 36C to Germany. READ  

Tantric massage subject to sex tax - court

Tantric massage subject to sex tax - court

Tantric massages provide sexual pleasure and are subject to the same tax levied on brothels and swinger clubs in a German city, a court ruled on Monday. READ  

JobTalk Germany
Germany lags rivals in innovation rankings
A solar energy control panel. Photo: DPA

Germany lags rivals in innovation rankings

Germany lags its rivals when it comes to innovation, according to global rankings. But in other measures it leads Europe in technological progress. How innovative is the country really? READ  

Tributes paid to German victims of MH17
Photo: DPA

Tributes paid to German victims of MH17

Four German citizens were among the 298 who died when Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 crashed in eastern Ukraine on Thursday. The women had all moved to different parts of the world to pursue their dreams. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Photo: DPA
Gallery
German Bucket List: How many of these can you tick off?
Photo: DPA
Gallery
Joachim Löw: A career in pictures
Photo: Submitted
Society
Is this expat cat the world's oldest?
Photo: DPA
Gallery
Germany's week in pictures: July 12th - July 18th
Photo: DPA
National
Heatwave to bring highs of 36C to Germany
Photo: Daniel Biskup
Gallery
Happy 60th Birthday, Chancellor Merkel
Photo: DPA
Analysis & Opinion
Should Germany follow France and ban the burqa?
Photo: DPA
Business & Money
Which workers is Germany short of?
Photo: DPA
Gallery
World Cup winners welcomed home - in pictures
Photo: DPA
Gallery
Ten best expat jobs in Germany: Which one would you choose?
Photo: Europeana.de 1914 - 1918
Gallery
A German soldier's life behind WWI lines
Photo: Shutterstock
Features
Some of the most embarrassing mistakes you can make in German
Photo: obs/AXE Unilever Deutschland
Gallery
The wives and girlfriends of Germany's football stars
Education
Raising the bar for law & business in Germany
Photo: DPA
Business & Money
JobTalk: All you need to know about working in Germany
Photo: DPA
Features
The Local List Archive - Your guide to all things German
National
Share news tips with The Local Germany
Sponsored Article
CurrencyFair: Why it pays when making overseas transfers
Sponsored Article
Bilingual school turning education on its head
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

3,239
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd