As regular CFZ-watchers will know, for some time Corinna has been doing a column for Animals & Men and a regular segment on On The Track... particularly about out-of-place birds and rare vagrants. There seem to be more and more bird stories from all over the world hitting the news these days so, to make room for them all - and to give them all equal and worthy coverage - she has set up this new blog to cover all things feathery and Fortean.

Sunday 6 January 2019

Brexit Could Threaten Penguins in the Falkland Islands

by: Judy M.
January 2, 2019

Questions are swirling about what will happen with the UK’s Brexit, now that Prime Minister Theresa May has postponed a crucial vote until January.

If May’s deal is voted down, which is the most likely outcome, no one is sure what will happen: She could switch to Plan B within 21 days, call a snap election, resign, be dumped by her Conservative party or participate in a second referendum.

According to Dr. Simon Usherwood, a reader in politics at the University of Surrey, if there’s no deal:

On 29 March next year, the UK would leave the EU and everything associated with that would come to an end. [A no deal] doesn’t stop the UK leaving but it means there is absolutely no clarity about what happens.”

Brits are fraught with worry about the uncertainty surrounding work and life in Britain. But is anyone worrying about the penguins?

Most people aren’t aware that the UK is responsible for more penguins than any other country, and wildlife protection groups are concerned about what will happen to them, as well as other bird species, after EU money runs out in 2020. There has been no commitment from DEFRA, the UK’s Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, that it will replace the EU cash after 2020.

Politico reports:

It is a little-known fact that the U.K. is responsible for more penguins than any country on earth. The downside of that — for the penguins of Britain’s overseas territories, not to mention a host of other species — is that they too are affected by Brexit.

The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) and Falklands Conservation are both concerned the EU conservation program will not be replaced. In particular they worry that without grants from LIFE (Financial Instrument for the Environment) and BEST (Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services in Territories overseas), world-leading conservation efforts for rare and unique species will be put under threat.

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