Our South West England team work to conserve the special invertebrates of the region, and also lead on some of our national work programmes such as oil beetle and White-clawed crayfish conservation.
South West England is home to some of the UK’s most endangered invertebrates, many of which are not found elsewhere in the country. A huge range of habitats support a wide diversity and abundance of wildlife – from our miles and miles of coastline to the uplands of Dartmoor; the lowland acidic heaths of Dorset to the chalk of Salisbury Plain; from the Somerset Levels to our urban areas.
There are 120 UK Biodiversity Action Plan (BAP) Priority Species of terrestrial, freshwater and marine invertebrates in South West England (not including moths and butterflies), of these 32 species are a priority for the region – i.e. the South West supports the only UK populations or the region is a national stronghold for the species.
UKBAP Priority Species only found in the South West include Ladybird spider (Eresus sandaliatus), Lundy cabbage flea beetle (Psylliodes luridipennis) (global endemic) and the Horrid ground weaver (Nothophantes horridus) (possible global endemic).
Species with a stronghold in the SW or a significant proportion of their UK populations include all UK species of oil beetles, Narrow-headed ant (Formica exsecta), Freshwater pearl mussel (Margaritifera margaritifera), Cliff tiger beetle (Cylindera germanica), the Blue ground beetle (Carabus intricatus) and Pink sea fan (Eunicella verrucosa).
Research shows that many pollinating insects have declined in recent years, both in the UK and globally. The South West Bees Report focuses on 23 bee species considered to be most at risk in the South West, with recommendations for conservation action