Scotland, from its peaks to its many firths, is globally important to a raft of species. In fact, it is a haven for over 90,000 species many of which have become recognisable symbols of the country such as our ‘monarchs of the glen’ – the red deer.

Many of those animals will often feature in the pages of The Herald, but, unfortunately, more often than not they accompany a warning of decline. Of course, that is not always the case. We are seeing positive strides almost weekly in efforts to rebuild once-flourishing populations.

Scotland’s wildcats, which are on the cusp of extinction, are due to be released in the Cairngorms National Park this year in the first-ever breed-and-release effort for the endangered mammal.

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Progress is continuously being made in the re-establishment of our native red squirrels after they spent years being outcompeted and replaced by grey squirrels. Even our beavers are making a return through rewilding efforts.

Just this week, we reported on one of the UK’s rarest inhabitants, the short-necked oil beetle, being found during a conservation programme on North Uist.

However, it may seem that these stories are overshadowed by those warning of a less positive future. We must acknowledge the reality that our wildlife is facing a crisis. From climate change to disease, urgent action is key to preserving our rich environment.

The long-term decline of Scotland’s wildlife was documented in a report in 2019 called The State of Nature which claimed one in nine species - including kittiwakes and wildcats - was threatened with extinction.

More than 1,100 of Scotland’s wildlife species and natural habitats are in a "poor" condition, an investigation by the Herald and the Ferret revealed.

Rising sea temperatures could see fewer and fewer white-beaked dolphins in our waters, as well as impacting the food sources of some of our biggest populations. Scotland is home to some of the world’s largest seabird colonies that are recognised as being globally important to those species.

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For example, the more than 150,000-strong northern gannet population on Bass Rock off the coast from North Berwick was described by Sir David Attenborough himself as “one of the 12 wildlife wonders of the world”.

But these birds, along with thousands of others, are facing major threats - from a devastating highly pathogenic strain of avian flu to loss of habitat and food sources – many species have seen their Scottish numbers dwindle over the past few decades.

If current trends continue, it is likely most Scots will never hear the lek of a capercaillie on our own soil as their numbers have dropped to a measly 542 in the latest available survey.

It is crucial that we do not stop reporting on this. There are real threats to wildlife that is synonymous with this country, but if we do not turn a blind eye, we still have a chance to turn these trends around.