Warn­ing for wildlife af­ter Brexit

The Sunday Post (Dundee) - - NEWS -

Red squir­rels could be wiped out in Scot­land due to Brexit, un­less fund­ing and ur­gent new laws are in­tro­duced to safe­guard vi­tal con­ser­va­tion work, a group of 30 lead­ing char­i­ties has warned.

The stark warn­ing comes from the group of char­i­ties, who claim that red squir­rels, as well as other rare an­i­mals like sea mam­mals and some birds of prey, are at risk of ex­tinc­tion un­less ac­tion is taken to pro­tect Scot­land’s en­vi­ron­ment when the UK leaves Eu­rope.

The Scot­tish En­vi­ron­ment Link (SEL) union of con­ser­va­tion groups are call­ing for le­gally bind­ing mea­sures to safe­guard the coun­try­side, wildlife and wa­ter qual­ity.

One of their main con­cerns is that there are cur­rently no plans to re­place the Euro­pean Com­mis­sion’s Life-na­ture Fund, which has given £25 mil­lion to Scot­land in the past 25 years to help with 25 con­ser­va­tion projects.

Charles Dun­das, chair­man of SEL, said: “Scot­land has hugely ben­e­fited from EU fund­ing and pro­tec­tions with the LIFE Fund alone sup­port­ing con­ser­va­tion projects.

“If and when Brexit hap­pens, Scot­land – along with the rest of the UK – will lose the un­ri­valled sup­port of EU bod­ies and fund­ing.

“With only months to go, this poses a se­ri­ous threat to our frag­ile and pre­cious nat­u­ral en­vi­ron­ment.”

Red squir­rels have al­ready suf­fered due to a loss of habi­tat, dis­ease and com­pe­ti­tion from non-na­tive greys.

Red squir­rels are at risk

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