Thu, 15 Apr 2021

One in five species in France faces the threat of extinction, with wildlife struggling to re-establish itself despite long periods of lockdown, scientists warn.

A report by the French Biodiversity Office, the National Museum of Natural History and the International Union for Conservation of Nature aims to alert the public and political leaders to the urgency of a situation they say has deteriorated sharply.

Spanning 13 years of flora and fauna observations, the Red List of Threatened Species in France details the "degree of threat" posed to endangered species.

Since 2008, some 13,800 species have been evaluated, of which 17.6 percent are threatened.

"Threats to breeding birds have increased by 25 percent to 33 percent," National Museum of Natural History president Bruno David told France Info.

"We always see sparrows, bullfinches, robins or goldfinches, which have just been included in the red list. But it's hard to remember that there were more before, we don't measure the danger."

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Meanwhile 28 percent of freshwater crustaceans and 23 percent of amphibians are on the red list. The situation is particularly worrisome in overseas French territories, where 187 species have completely disappeared.

David dismissed suggestions that lockdowns as a result of the coronavirus had given a boost to animals and their habitats.

"Some species that normally hide when you have a full activity have come out," he said. "We've seen some foxes in towns, a few deer walking around - but we can also see very well that nothing has changed."

Originally published on RFI

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