OK, all European wildlife is not coming back.
Things are definitely not THAT good.
A number of species are disappearing.
And that is really bad news.
For all of us.
Whereas wildlife in earlier centuries disappeared because of persecution, over-hunting, collecting and poisioning by industrial pollutants, the main threat today most of all comes from our changes in land use.
And increasingly also from Climate change.
Every type of landscape has its wildlife and wild flora.
One farming method gives one kind of wildlife.
Another method gives another.
And when you turn the farmland into industrial areas or cities, wildlife changes again.
Problem areas right now are old-growth forest species and the wildlife of the ancient farming and pastoral landscapes.
Because those habitats are rapidly disappearing in the modern world.
And are replaced by industrial forest, exotic species, monocultures, industrial farming, GM-crops and growing town- and cityscapes.
The area of human-managed lands is growing all the time.
And the wildlife changes accordingly.
Some species disappear, other species profit from it.
We simply get the wildlife we deserve.
Too bad for all of us, many of these new landscapes are much more poor in wild life, with less diversity and less suitable habitats for animals, birds and plants.
Less known maybe, but equally problematic is the completely disasterous sea fishing practices in Europe.
Oversized, EU-subventioned fishing fleets have wasted the once huge fish stocks in European waters, and we are now having to import fish from all over the world. Which means we are ruining their fish stocks as well. That is a subject for a blog in itself, later.
These are some of the wildlife loosers:
• Almost all the large insects – in the farmland they are killed by pesticides, the pastoral lands are disappearing, and in the forests, they need tree trunks much older than what modern forestry allows. This is bad news also for all species that prey on them – rollers, woodpeckers, shrikes…
• Many of our classic farmland birds, because there are much fewer insects in the industrial farmlands. Starlings, skylarks, swallows and sparrows are decreasing.
• All commercially harvestable fish species. For this there is just one word: Disaster. The utter mismanagement of European fisheries is the biggest wildlife scandal of our times.
• Weeds of all kinds in the farmlands.
• Lichens, fungi and plant life that need old growth forests to survive.
What you and I can do about it?
- Avoid buying fish from a number of threatened species, like tuna or cod.
- Buy Organically grown food.
- Ask for FSC-Certified Forestry products (paper, construction wood etc)
- Recycle more, and use less paper.
More suggestions are welcome.
After all it is up to you and me, not anyone else.
It is our own daily decisions that count the most.
Our daily voting with our own wallets.
What we buy and what we don’t buy.
Please note that blogs reflect our photographers' opinions and not necessarily those of the directors of Wild Wonders of Europe.