Conservation – habitat or species?

This is a controversial issue with strong feelings on both sides I suspect, but should we really be expending energy, resources and finance on reintroducing creatures such as the beaver when we could be concentrating on improving and increasing scarce habitats? My feeling is that if we concentrate on habitat conservation and improvement first then an increase in all species indigenous to that habitat would increase in numbers and indeed some species that have disappeared could reappear – plants, insects, birds and mammals.

The landscape in the photo is part of the RSPB reserve on Anglesay which consists of cliffside habitat and cliff top heathland. The habitat here is well maintained and as well as looking colouful with its heathers, lings and gorse, and dramatic with its steep cliffs and huge splashing waves, it is home to so much wildlife. On a recent visit we watched choughs along the clifftop crying out their “chee-ew” calls. And perching atop stems and stalks stonechat and pippets. On other visits we have watched hunting displays of peregrines and sparrowhawks.

The cliffs themselves are home to nesting seabird colonies of razorbills, guillemots and puffins while out at sea lucky watchers may spot porpoises and dolphins. The heathland is home to adders.

While there I decided that by conserving rich habitats such as this we are best serving wildlife. Surely value for money and value for effort wildlife conservation is best served in this way. Reintroducing beavers to a remote loch in Scotland surely comes a poor second!

About greenbenchramblings

A retired primary school head teacher, I now spend much of my time gardening in our quarter acre plot in rural Shropshire south of Shrewsbury. I share my garden with Jude my wife a newly retired teacher , eight assorted chickens and a plethora of wildlife. Jude does all the heavy work as I have a damaged spine and right leg. We also garden on an allotment nearby. We are interested in all things related to gardens, green issues and wildlife.
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