"More than two animals and plants a year are becoming extinct in England and hundreds more are severely threatened, a report published today reveals.
"Natural England, the government's agency responsible for the countryside, said the biggest national study of threats to biodiversity found nearly 500 species that had died out in England, all but a dozen in the last two centuries.
"The losses recorded compare with a natural rate of about one extinction every 20 years before humans dominated the planet, but are almost certainly an underestimate because of poor records of any but the "biggest, scariest" creatures before the 1800s."The high rate at which species are being lost is set to continue. Almost 1,000 other species face "severe" threats from the same problems that drove their relatives extinct - hunting, pollution, development, poor land management, invasive species and, more recently, climate change - says the report, Lost life: England's lost and threatened species."