Feeling the loss
The white stork reintroduction in Sussex (Wild News, July 2018) is an exciting development, but I do wonder if it will ever be possible for conservationists (and politicians) to concentrate on the real, underlying problems of biodiversity loss. It is relatively easy to reintroduce big, charismatic species when the underlying cause of their demise is removed. But an unfortunate side effect of this success is that it gives the public a false sense of security and hope. The truth is that despite these successes there is a huge, unprecedented loss of species diversity, as well as a massive loss of natural biomass. I live in the middle of agricultural East Anglia, and most of it is a biodiversity desert. Over the past decades I have watched the populations of almost all small birds crash. And now it is rare to see more than a handful of insects around a lamp at night. Let’s celebrate the success of reintroductions, but I feel bound to point out that there are absolutely no grounds for optimism about the future of wildlife, without some dramatic changes in government and international policies. John Burton, East Anglia
Plans are underway to reintroduce the white stork in Sussex.