Experts in species diversity at LJMU have fed into a Parliamentary report calling for joined-up thinking on species reintroductions.
Dr Sarah Dalrymple, Reader in Conservation Ecology, said there was little awareness of how guidance on reintroducing species of animals and plants was being enforced. And she advised the creation of a national information hub to encourage organisations and communities to learn from others’ experiences of ‘reintroductions’.
The Environment Food and Rural Affairs Committee launched its report, Species Reintroduction, at the Great Yorkshire Show today Tuesday July 11, 2023.
The report said a compensation scheme and urgent clarity from Government via a national strategy for reintroductions is the only way to alleviate the concerns of farmers and other land managers who may be impacted by high-risk reintroduction projects.
Dr Dalrymple gave evidence to the Select Committee and sits on the Defra England Species Reintroductions Task Force which will have to enact some of the report’s recommendations.
Herself and colleague Dr Carlo Meloro, of the School of Biological and Environmental Sciences, said they believed reintroductions play an important role in species conservation and recovery marine, freshwater and terrestrial habitats.
They stated the evidence from existing projects was that the quality of initiatives to date was piecemeal with little awareness of best practice.
They also said too few ‘actors’ understood why the species had died out in the first place which risked history repeating itself. Dr Dalrymple also says it is important to view reintroductions in terms of their dual impact on the species and the environment.
The report states: “Many conservationists and farmers have already engaged in the reintroduction of plants, birds, fungi, insects and mammals and other individuals, professionals and organisations are interested in learning more. Dr Sarah Dalrymple, Reader in conservation ecology at Liverpool John Moores University, told us that it would be beneficial to have a hub which could be an open access source of advice, sharing experience and learning from other people.”
“We recommend that the Government create an online species reintroduction hub by June 2024, supported by the England Species Reintroductions Taskforce and Stakeholder Forum, for parties interested in the reintroduction of species.”
Dr Dalrymple has published widely on species reintroductions including primary research in the field, computer modelling of the impacts of climate suitability of past reintroductions, and suitable sites for future species reintroductions, and she has undertaken numerous reviews of reintroduction practice.