Climate change: Bumblebees among wildlife under threat in UK due to global warming

ITV News reporter Martha Fairlie explains why UK wildlife such as bumblebees could be in danger

Some of the UK's favourite spring wildlife is under threat, according to a new report from the WWF.

Climate change and hotter summers is the cause, meaning wildlife such as bumblebees and bluebells may be in danger.

Bumblebees are particularly under threat because their bodies, covered in fur, are suited to cooler climates.

This means as soon as temperatures rise, it becomes too hot for them and they are unable to forage for as long.

A Bumblebee searches for pollen amongst flowers. Credit: PA

In turn, this leads to less of the vital pollination activity that helps to keep UK crops growing.

Global warming is also leading to more droughts in the UK. When this happens, wildflower meadows dry up which reduces the amount of habitat available for the bees.

Dr Nikki Gammons, Project Manager of the Bumblebee Conservation Trust, told ITV News' reporter Martha Fairlie bumblebees may leave the UK if temperatures continue to rise.

She said: "In the late twenties and thirty degree temperatures, it becomes a bit too hot for them.

"If we keep seeing temperatures rising, it will mean they can't come out and forage so they will start to retreat north or to higher altitudes."

Bluebells are also under threat from climate change. Credit: PA

The WWF report says global wildlife populations have fallen by an average of 68% since 1970.

Current government plans would see world temperature rises of 2.4 degrees Centigrade by the end of the century, but the WWF are calling on world leaders meeting at the COP26 climate talk in November to limit that to 1.5 degrees.

Mark Wright, Director of Science for the WWF, said: "We are absolutely at a critical moment in history, if we don't respond now we are at risk of missing huge species around the world."