[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Tuesday, 9 October 2007, 09:09 GMT 10:09 UK
Otter and birds on indicator list
Otter numbers have shown an improvement according to the data
The first set of 22 biodiversity indicators to give a "health check" of the natural environment has been launched by the Scottish Government.

They include the state of seabird and otter numbers and the relationship between people and the natural world.

The indicators describe change over time in the variety, quantity or distribution of flora and fauna.

Some use data gathered over many years, while others venture into new areas and start from a baseline figure.

The indicators were launched at the UK Biodiversity Partnership Conference in Aviemore.

Minister for Environment Michael Russell said: "Scotland is lucky to be blessed with unique biodiversity - inspiring landscapes, exciting wildlife, and opportunities all around us to enjoy them.

"We should be very deeply proud of our fantastic natural environment.

"It is a part of our national identity, and provides the raw materials for all our lives. It is vital that we look after it properly."

Of the 22 indicators, five show improvement, three show deterioration and five show no change. Nine present baseline data.

Otter numbers have been found to be improving, but some nesting seabirds have declined and nitrogen pollution has impacted on wild plant life, said the government.

Butterflies used to check climate
08 Oct 07 |  Highlands and Islands


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit


Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific