• Question: how many are killed each year and are the numbers going up or down

    Asked by tobybot to Barn Owl, Brown garden snail, Common Crane, Emperor Dragonfly, Hazel Dormouse, Catshark, Scotch Thistle, St Kilda Wren on 8 Dec 2017.
    • Photo: Lesser-Spotted Catshark

      Lesser-Spotted Catshark answered on 8 Dec 2017:

      Unfortunately we don’t have very good data on how many are caught each year because so many are caught accidentally by fishermen targeting different species. This is called ‘bycatch’ and fishermen aren’t required to report the numbers of fishes that they don’t land (bring to shore). Thankfully for the catshark, despite this problem with reporting ecologists estimate that their numbers are stable or possibly going up in some areas. We are not really sure why catsharks are doing so well compared to other endangered sharks and by sequencing the genome we might be able to help answer this.

    • Photo: Hazel Dormouse

      Hazel Dormouse answered on 8 Dec 2017:

      40-50% of Hazel Dormice die during hibernation and we are not too sure why. We know they can survive more extreme temperatures than British winters in South England so it is presumed that destruction of habitat and loss of resources are the main cause. Although nobody knows the actual population size, we do know they are in decline. Each year The Great Nut Hunt takes places where people collect used nut shells from forests and woodlands then decide which animal ate what based on the teeth marks that have been left; Hazel Dormice leave very distinct marks. We know that less and less nuts have been eaten by them each year 🙁

    • Photo: Common Crane

      Common Crane answered on 8 Dec 2017:

      I am afraid this has never been quantified. But you might know that common cranes disappeared from the UK about 400 years ago due to the loss of habitat and being hunted down. They are coming back, though, slowly. Just 160 of us here.
      Humans tend to hunt cranes for food, pillage their nests of eggs, poison cranes with agricultural grain, persecute due to their belief that we damage crops. And the habitats are still being destroyed due to the building of dams, urbanisation, tourism and irrigation.