Saving rare beetles in London

Streaked bombardier beetle, photo (c) Benoit Martha

From Wildlife Extra:

New home created for one of UK’s most endangered beetles

New ‘brownfield‘ site created for rare beetle

June 2012. Wildlife charity, Buglife – The Invertebrate Conservation Trust and The University of East London (UEL) have created a new home for one of the UK’s most endangered invertebrates – the Streaked bombardier beetle (Brachinus sclopeta).

Only recently found in the UK

In the UK, the Streaked bombardier beetle has only recently been found on a couple of ex-industrial sites called brownfields in the Thames Gateway, London. One of these brownfield sites had already been destroyed.

Just days before their second home was due to be destroyed, fifteen Streaked bombardier beetles were rescued in an emergency operation. The beetles have now been re-homed on a new designer brownfield site at the University of East London’s Docklands Campus.

Sarah Henshall, Buglife Brownfield Manager said “Wildlife rich brownfields are being lost at an alarming rate in the Thames Gateway, not enough is being done to protect the homes of endangered animals. Buglife and the University of East London had no choice, we had to create new habitat for the Streaked bombardier beetle on the nearby UEL Docklands Campus site”. …

London Wildlife Trust, UEL and Buglife volunteers helped with the habitat creation which included plug planting a range of native wildflowers rich in pollen and nectar for pollinating insects such as beetles, bees and butterflies.

The site will be monitored by Buglife and UEL to check the progress of the Streaked bombardier beetle.

Sarah Henshall, Buglife Brownfield Manager said “We hope that this site becomes a new stronghold for the Streaked bombardier beetle, but only time will tell. We intend to use new habitat as an outdoor laboratory, studying the behaviour and needs of the beetle so we can make recommendations for the conservation of this on the brink of extinction beetle“.


5 thoughts on “Saving rare beetles in London

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