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Nature under threat 2017 was a mixed year for biodiversity, says WWF

butterflies

Rare: butterflies like Plebejus idas, also known as the northern blue

(salvia77/photocase.de)

The number of endangered plant and animal species worldwide reached a new record this year, reports WWF. In Switzerland, more than 40% of insect species are considered threatened. 

If not halted, the loss of pollinating insects like bees and butterflies will become a problem throughout Europe. 

+ Bees’ work is worth millions to Swiss economy

Climate change and intensive pesticide use are to blame for the decline of the insects, WWF Switzerlandexternal link spokeswoman Pierrette Rey told the Swiss News Agency on Wednesday. Amphibians and insect-eating birds are also suffering from the decline in insect species. 

A brighter note is the otter’s return to Switzerland, and beavers have also benefited from the improved water quality and ecological restoration measures, said Rey.

beaver

Enjoying improved Swiss water quality: the beaver

(123RF)

Globally, it was an especially bad year for African forest elephants, seahorses and koalas. In total, about 25,800 plant and animal species are on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Speciesexternal link – about 1,500 more than a year ago.

Yet WWF reports that the numbers of sea turtles, Irrawaddy dolphins, Caucasian leopards and blue-throated macaws are on the rise, thanks to successful environmental protection measures.



swissinfo.ch and agencies/sm

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