Protecting our endangered friends
Protecting our endangered friends
We are so lucky to have so may wonderful friends in all shapes and sizes that live in nature with us, and we want to do all we can to keep it that way. Unfortunately, scary new data has revealed that animals such as the red squirrel could be gone from the UK in just 10 years, unless we do something to help preserve their existence.
So we’ve put together a list of endangered species and some advice on how you can do your bit to preserve them…
1. Red Squirrel
Did you know that there are only only 140,000 of our wonderful Red Squirrel friends remaining in the UK? The red squirrel is only found in the far north of England and Scotland after being pushed out by 2.5 million grey squirrels. According to the lovely people at Countryfile, one way to help the red squirrel at home is to plant shrubs or trees that will provide a natural food source. Plants that benefit red squirrels include brambles, raspberry, wild cherry, bird cherry, bullace and crab apple. Thorny plants also act as a cat deterrent, helping reduce predation too!
2. Turtle Dove
The RSPB has revealed that turtle doves have decreased by 93% since 1970. A decline of this species is mainly a result of the lack of feeding habitats in its locations across the south and east of England. Organisation Operation Turtle Dove is dedicated to the protection of the birds and advises the public to buy food products that were grown on farms that support turtle doves and provide habitats in gardens and local communities.
The New Forest Cicada is the only species of Cicada native to the UK and the last recorded sighting of the insect was over 20 years ago! With fears of it already being extinct, the species is now protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act and the New Forest Cicada Project has helped fund a tracking app for visitors to record any sightings. When visiting New Forest, be sure to use the app along paths, tracks, and clearings such as picnic areas to help with the hunt, as these often make for the ideal habitat for the Cicada! Wouldn’t it be amazing to spot them?!
As you can tell from our own DCUK Toadstool Hedgies, we love our hedgehog friends, so we are super upset to learn that hedgehogs have declined from around 36 million to one million in the last 70 years. This is mainly due to intensive farming and loss of natural habitat. Countryfile’s British Hedgehog Guide explains that the animals like dry spaces like sheds, compost heaps or hedges – so be careful when moving such spaces to avoid disturbing them!
5. Small Tortoiseshell Butterfly
Did you know that the population of the most common species of butterfly in the UK has declined by 75% since the 1970s? This is largely due to wetter summers and a lack of natural feeding habitats. The RSPB recommend planting nectar-rich borders for butterflies in your garden for them to feed on and help protect their chances of survival.
Here at DCUK, we’re passionate about protecting our environment and our wonderful friends within it. So, to help support the cause, we’ve created a small number of special DCUK Dodo characters – with three of them up for grabs for lucky customers. Two people who donate at least £2 to the DCUK JustGiving page for Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust will be randomly picked, along with one other lucky winner drawn from all comments on the relevant post on our DCUK Facebook page.
The Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust is a wonderful national charity whose mission is to save species from extinction, especially those animal species that are under-threat – so please consider getting involved – and being one of the owners of the only current DCUK Dodo characters available in the world!