SCIENTISTS, politicians, conservationists and farmers will be debating the art of the possible to bring about a dramatic wildlife revival in the next six years at a specially convened research conference organised by the Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust on Tuesday, May 13, at the Royal Geographical Society in London.
There is no doubt that the next round of CAP reform will present a new set of challenges for farmers and conservationists and it is likely that to bring about a change in the fortunes of wildlife in this country we will have to achieve far more for less.
The most recent report to study the status of wildlife in this country; 'State of Nature' painted a depressing picture of wildlife and showed that 60 per cent of the species studied have suffered declines over the last 50 years. An unavoidable conclusion of the report was that attempts over the last few decades to target declining and endangered species have failed.
However, as Professor Nick Sotherton, the GWCT's director of research, said: "To make the next generation of agri-environment schemes work more effectively, we need to refine our research and its delivery to get a 'bigger bang for our buck'! It is therefore vital that conservationists, politicians and scientists work collectively to achieve dramatic improvements in wildlife recovery."
The GWCT's research conference will present the results and highlights of more than 40 years of research and will show how this work to date has helped drive existing agri-environment schemes. But what more can be done?
Professor Sotherton added: "Our research has been pivotal in developing innovative and workable solutions for reviving a range of wildlife such as wild grey partridges, brown hare and water voles. A key aspect of recovery will always be to get more people on the ground targeting recovery more accurately. Well-researched solutions are therefore key to this and an aim of our conference is to share successes, pin-point workable solutions and importantly identify how these can be delivered on the ground."