On the occasion of World Wildlife Day, Wednesday March 3, the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), the French Biodiversity Office and the MNHN, took stock of the Red List of endangered species in France. And their conclusions are worrying:he situation of wild fauna and flora has deteriorated in 13 years in France, they warn.
In detail, 13,842 species have been assessed, of which 17.6% are threatened. This percentage increases in breeding birds (32%), freshwater crustaceans (28%) or amphibians (23%). The situation is particularly worrying in overseas territories.
In addition, 187 species have completely disappeared. For more than 2,100 others, the data are insufficient, the ultimate goal being to assess all species.
Some groups of species – reptiles, amphibians, mammals, birds, and mainland water fish – have been assessed twice since 2008. “We thought that in eight or nine years, we would not see much change. The surprise is that we are witnessing a clear deterioration of the situation”, explains Florian Kirchner, from IUCN France, to AFP. “For nesting birds, we had a quarter of endangered species in 2008, a third eight years later”, he gives as an example. More worrying still, “we are talking about the species that benefit the most from conservation effort, vertebrates, and not insects or molluscs”.
“This brings us back to the main threats in metropolitan France: land use planning which remains uncontrolled and the intensification of agricultural practices”, with uniform areas and the significant use of pesticides, explains the scientist, calling for “change gear”. “The degradations of nature remain much stronger than all the efforts that one can deploy”, warns Florian Kirchner, who nevertheless sees “two sources of hope: opinion is changing and there is good news “ in the protection of species as in the case of the otter, the Alpine ibex or the monk vulture.
“If we had more data, we think we would put more species in these endangered categories”, adds Laurent Poncet, from the MNHN. However, these near-threatened species are “an important concern to have, these are the threatened of tomorrow, but they are species on which one can still act easily”, underlines Laurent Poncet.