Nearly a third of vertebrate species at risk
Nearly a third of vertebrate animal species in Germany are threatened with extinction, while seven percent have already died out, new figures show.
Those particularly at risk include the field hamster, the snipe, lapwing and the Alpine salamander, said a report from the Federal Agency for Nature Conservation (BfN) released this week. Nearly 28 percent of vertebrate species are in danger, the agency found.
But some successes can be seen in the German countryside, with increasing numbers of fish otters, wolves and beavers.
These encouraging trends demonstrate that well-targeted campaigns of land management and protection can have the desired effect in preserving ecological diversity, the agency said in a statement.
A federal programme for biological diversity is funded with €15 million a year to try to protect specific kinds of areas and ecosystems such as moors and forests.
Yet the “Data on Nature 2012” numbers also show that intensive cooperation is still needed on all levels to combat the destruction of natural habitats. “Nature protection must be integrated into all relevant political areas, in order to enable protection, development and the sustainable use of nature,” the agency said.
The total area covered by nature protection laws has increased from around 824,000 hectares in 1997, to around 1.31 million hectares in 2010, while the number of biosphere reservations designated as model regions for environmentally sustainable and nature protective business rose from 13 to 16, with a total area of 1.84 million hectares.