The West European Hedgehog is common in mainland Europe but classified as vulnerable in the United Kingdom – in danger of becoming extinct. Why is this the case?
In Europe, the brownish-white West European Hedgehog (Erinaceus europaeus) is widespread and found from Portugal to Russia. Researchers think that the numbers are high because hedgehogs have a varied diet with an abundant choice in mainland Europe.
However, in the United Kingdom, the numbers of West European Hedgehogs have declined significantly although exact numbers are not available. Scientists think that one main reason may be the high number that are killed on the roads – which is estimated to be thousands each each. In addition, modern farming methods and few hedgerow plants might also contribute to the declining numbers in the United Kingdom.
Continue reading “RESEARCH: The West European Hedgehog is common in mainland Europe but classified as vulnerable in the United Kingdom”
The Majorcan Midwife Toad (Alytes muletensis) is a small freshwater amphibian in the Alytidae family of toads. It is a vulnerable species.
The Majorcan Midwife Toad can be a variety of colours, but it is generally brownish to yellowish or greenish, with several irregular dark spots along its body. It has big, bulging dark eyes, suited to living in the dark. It has long legs with webbed feet that enable it to climb over rocks.
Continue reading “Majorcan Midwife Toad”
What is the IUCN Red List?
The IUCN is the International Union for Conservation of Nature.
The IUCN, amongst other tasks, compiles a list of animals and plants from around the word that are considered to be threatened – in danger of becoming extinct. The inventory, or list, is called the Red List of Threatened Species.
The aim of the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species is to create a ‘universally accepted system of classification of species at high risk of extinction globally.’ It is an international standard with a scientifically tested assessment.
Each species is assessed according to a set of established criteria, and rated on a scale ranging from ‘least concern’ to ‘extinct.’
The classifications are:
Continue reading “What is the IUCN Red List?”