By Livi Ngroom
A CAMPAIGN has been launched to save the ‘Derek’ after it was revealed that the world’s last living Derek could be dead within the next five years.
Derek Aldershot, 97, of Potter’s Field, is expected by doctors to not survive the year meaning that the world population of Dereks will be three.
Numbers of Dereks were once as high as 500 nesting pairs in the lower Midlands. But conservation efforts to save the Derek have not been successful with the introduction of more motorway service stations, their usual habitat, not sufficient to enable more breeding pairs.
The last surviving Derek in the UK now resides in Bassett Rivers, but there is thought to be a 107 year old Derek living in Nepal and another Derek who has made his habitat in Goresville, Ohio in the United States.
Now efforts are being made by environmental Derek campaigners to cross a Darren and a Merrick to create a Derek in an effort to save the species.
Campaigner Tessa McDowell said: “It will be a sad day for us all when the last Derek dies out.
“They are majestic creatures but gone are the days when you would see them foraging at your local Somerfields supermarket, going to bingo on a Saturday night or writing a letter of complaint about the use of the word ‘tit’ on Springwatch to Points of View.”
Campaigners have also highlighted some other species that are on the critically endangered list including Ians, Colins, Nigels, and Daphnes.
Miss McDowell added: “We are in sad times where no-one is bothered about the survival of species like Derek so there isn’t that much breeding going on. “But if we don’t save them now it will only be a matter of time before more common species like Benjamins or Traceys are on the endangered list.”