British insects see red

4 March 2015, Comments Comments Off on British insects see red

Oedemera Nobilis on Oxeye Daisy 3Many species of British insects have recently been added to the IUCN (International Union for the Conservation of Nature) “Red list” over fears for their extinction. The research focussed on two groups of scarce and threatened insects – leaf beetles and stoneflies. 35 species of leaf beetle were added to the red list as critically endangered, endangered, or vulnerable to extinction. Three species have already become extinct in Britain in the last 100 years and 7 others could be extinct in Britain as they haven’t been seen since 1950.

Both leaf beetles and stoneflies are very sensitive to their environment and their conservation status is therefore a good indicator of the health of the natural environment. Steps are being taken to improve and create new habitat and reduce some of the threats they face, for example from pollution.

Sources: Guardian online Feb 15, BBC website Feb 15

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