A thought-provoking new report, published on Wednesday 21st July, has looked at the breadth of wildlife in Gwent, recording the ecological successes and identifying those species most at risk.
The Greater Gwent State of Nature report is intended to inform the forthcoming Local Nature Recovery Action Plans and other conservation work. It is hoped that the information within the report will be used to direct further recording and monitoring, as well as future conservation action.
The report, funded by the Welsh Government’s Enabling of Natural Resources and Well-being Grant, has covered the five Local Authorities of Greater Gwent; Blaenau Gwent, Caerphilly, Monmouthshire, Newport and Torfaen, looked at the species found within the region.
The collaborative partnership has also included Gwent Wildlife Trust, Natural Resources Wales, SEWBReC and Buglife. The aim of the project is to reverse biodiversity decline and increase resilience of nature at a Gwent-wide level.
Working with Local Nature Partnerships, the Resilient Greater Gwent Project chose 100 species to represent the breadth of wildlife found within the region, whose stories inspire, raise concern, and even make us curious. By studying species populations and trends, changes and threats in the wider ecosystems that support them are revealed. In simple terms, it provides us with a health check of nature.
The Resilient Greater Gwent partnership said, “This report provides invaluable information that will provide a baseline to assess the effectiveness of conservation work. It is clear there are some great success stories. Bittern are back breeding on the Gwent Levels for the first time in 200 years, for example, and colonies of greater and lesser horseshoe bats are thriving. Worryingly, evidence shows that some species are in decline, including lapwing which we are rapidly losing from the area.
“For many of the 100 species included, this has been the first time that regional trends have been recorded. The monitoring and collection of wildlife data is incredibly important and will help inform us going forward. The Greater Gwent State of Nature demonstrates the need for awareness raising and education, as well as policy change and action.”