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Last updated: 29th November 2006
The destruction of wildlife habitats and the subsequent loss of plant and animal species is an insidious process. It takes place almost unnoticed in many cases, each local loss building into the larger tragedy. Equally the battle to stop this happening has to be fought on the front line, each local victory bringing hope that bountiful nature can recover from the onslaughts of uncaring �development�.
These thoughts are stirred by three recent reports. The first, from the UK government gives some hope that the loss of species and habitats in England is slowing down, and in some cases reversed. (See: UK wildlife sites improving, says government). The second, from the University of Leeds, warns that the diversity of bees and the wildflowers that depend on them for pollination, are declining simultaneously. This could mean that current estimates of extinction risks have been underestimated by as much as 50 per cent. (See: Bees and wildflowers decline together).
The third report is from Malaysia, which having lost its leatherback turtles, is now struggling to prevent its hawksbill turtles from going the same way. And that depends to a large extent on the fate of Malacca�s turtle island, Pulau Upeh, now up for sale and threatened by development. (See: Malaysia�s turtle island faces uncertain future).
|Hawksbill turtle hatchling. Photo � WWF-Malaysia/S.Hogg
If readers wish to help save Pulau Upeh, they should write to the Director General in the Ministry of Agriculture which may provide funds to buy it as a turtle reserve. His address is: Wisma Tani, Lot 4G1, Presint 4, Pusat Pentadbiran, Kerajaa Persekutuan, 52624 Putraja, Malaysia.)