Climate change is now considered a bigger threat to the loss of biodiversity than habitat loss. It is not necessarily the case that if you create or enlarge habitat species will re-colonise as larger scale climatic factors can outweigh localised ecological factors such as population size, recruitment and habitat connectivity.

New research is trying to assess the conservation status of a species by climatic factors and not just ecological factors. A species maybe widespread and common but if it’s survival is confined by narrow climatic parameters such as a very narrow thermal or humidity range then it maybe at greater risk than a species with a fragmented distribution but one that encompasses a much wider climatic range.

This is a very interesting new perspective on assessing conservation status and can be developed locally to assess what species in Hastings may become rare or eventually become locally extinct and which species may colonise the Borough. It may also help us understand why in some cases even though we have created habitat the species that we expected to colonise have not colonised or grown in population.