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Close to 20% of Swiss wildlife on the verge of local extinction

Keystone/ Valentin Flauraud

Species diversity in Switzerland is under increasing pressure with 17% classified as critically endangered or endangered. 

A further 16% are classified as vulnerable, according to two reports released by the Federal Office for the Environment (FOEN) on Monday to mark the International Day for Biological Diversity. In total, populations have declined by 30% over the past 10 years.

Some species are more adversely affected than others. The threat to many fish, reptile and bird species has increased over the past decade, according to the FOEN. 

“Fortunately, there also some successes. Thanks to targeted measures, the White Stork has been removed from the red list,” said FOEN Director Katrin Schneeberger at a press conference on Monday.

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The reports also point to the deterioration of several ecologically valuable environments and the lack of connectivity between them. In recent years, the agricultural sector has succeeded in increasing the proportion of land set aside for wildlife, which is beneficial for species diversity. 

According to the government, there is also great potential in urban areas. In concrete terms, this means creating near-natural areas such as green spaces, urban forests, water bodies or green roofs and facades.

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SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR

SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR