Dragonfly (Photo: Wikimedia Commons/Daniel Schwen) - Credit: Dragonfly (Photo: Wikimedia Commons/Daniel Schwen)
Thursday, October 29, 2015 - 10:25
WWF: Netherlands nature recovering, but not on farmlands
After decades of deterioration, wildlife in the Netherlands is finally showing some improvement. Improvement can especially be seen under the fresh water surface and around lakes and rivers, but on farmlands the wildlife is still under heavy pressure. This is according to the Living Planet Report by the World Wildlife Fund, based on figures from Statistics Netherlands In the period between 1990 and 2014, the populations of mammals, breeding birds, reptiles, amphibians, fish, dragonflies and butterflies increased with an average of 15 percent. According to the WWF, this cautious recovery is good news, but it compensates for only a limited portion of the loss suffered over the pat century. The recovery can mainly be seen in rivers and along the wetlands. Several populations increased considerably over the past 25 years, benefiting from cleaner water, construction of environmentally friendly banks and other types of nature restoration. On land however, the Dutch wildlife is still under pressure, mostly due to the intensification in agriculture. Over the past 25 years the wildlife species on farmlands decreased significantly, especially the populations of meadow birds and butterflies. Populations of various species also declined in the dunes and heath-land. Worldwide the wildlife populations decreased an average of 52 percent over the past 40 years. Main causes are over fishing, habitat destruction, poaching and hunting.