THOUSANDS have backed calls to declare a "national nature emergency" to prevent the extinction of several native species.

Nearly 7,000 people have signed a petition backing the move in just two days.

And MSPs will be challenged to back the declaration in a vote in the Scottish Parliament tonight (Weds) A motion is being brought to parliament following multiple warnings about the rapid loss of species abundance and distribution, and habitat loss and ecosystems in decline, with one in nine species facing extinction in Scotland.

Calls for legislation to allow for a “full nature recovery by 2045” will be debated at Holyrood.

Environmental and wildlife protection groups WWF Scotland, RSPB Scotland and Scottish Environment LINK have also urged MSPs to back it.

The Herald revealed in November, 2018 that at-risk animal species such as the red squirrel, some birds of prey and sea mammals are in jeopardy because of lack of action in ensuring vital environmental protections are provide in Scotland after the UK quits Europe.

Among the concerns of the Scottish Environment LINK (SEL) union of conservation groups was that there was no mechanism to replace the European Commission's LIFE-Nature Fund which has given £25 million over 25 years to Scotland to help with more than 25 vital conservation projects protecting the country's at-risk wildlife and landscape.

They said all were are at risk if no alternative funding is found through matching contributions from government or elsewhere if there is no way of continuing access to the fund through the Brexit negotiations.

READ MORE: Brexit threatens to wipe out Scotland's rarest animals and put at risk iconic landscapes

Broadcaster and campaigner Chris Packham has also voiced his support, saying: “There is no doubt that we have precipitated a nature emergency so admitting as much would be a bold first step towards rectifying it.”

If passed, Scotland will become the first country to formally recognise the decline in species and that urgent action is needed to address it.

Commenting, Scottish Greens environment spokesman Mark Ruskell said: “Parliament must declare a nature emergency tonight, as just the first step in reversing the alarming decline in Scotland’s nature.

Scottish Natural Heritage's video devoted to red squirrels.

“I’m confident that MSPs can recognise the statement of fact that Scotland’s nature is in a state of emergency, so the next steps must involve halting the decline in species and building a network at land and sea to allow nature to recover.

“Scotland has a golden opportunity to take a leading role in halting biodiversity loss, but taking action can also stimulate a green economic recovery with targeted rural support and new jobs.”

According to the latest Nature of Scotland report some one in nine species are at risk across Scotland.

And there are plans to save more than 40 of the most vulnerable coastal and island species from the great yellow bumblebee and the natterjack toad to the Scottish primrose and the little tern.

A four-and-a-half-year partnership project, concerned about an "unprecedented rate of species decline" have compiled the Red List of species targeted by the project which are all under threat.

Some 19 are threatened by land use change, eight from climate change and the remainder through a combination of influences such as pollution, invasive non-native species and exploitation.

The Species on the Edge campaign, a partnership project by Scottish Natural Heritage involving Amphibian and Reptile Conservation, The Bat Conservation Trust, Buglife, The Bumblebee Conservation Trust, Butterfly Conservation, Plantlife Scotland and RSPB Scotland aims to spark to life conservation action across Scotland’s coasts and islands.