Alarming numbers of species at risk of extinction

Friday 11th March 2016

Four new species status reviews published today highlight the very real threat of species extinction.  The reviews cover Mayflies, Caddisflies, Shieldbugs and Ground beetles and show that over 70 of the 686 species reviewed are at threat of extinction, and a further 9 species have become extinct.

The four new status reviews have been published by Natural England as part of the ongoing Species Status Project. Each review assesses the threat status of species using the internationally accepted Red List guidelines developed by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

Craig Macadam, Conservation Director of Buglife commented: “The importance of assessing the threat level of species, cannot be underestimated, it is used for targeting resources at those species most in need. These reviews are highlighting that one in ten species are at threat of extinction this is extremely worrying especially if similar threat levels exist across other invertebrate groups.”

• A review of the Hemiptera of Great Britain: The shieldbugs and allied families (Coreoidea, Pentatomoidea & Pyrrhocoroidea) – The shieldbugs are large, showy and often conspicuous, making them probably the most familiar group of terrestrial true bugs. This review covers all 69 species found in Britain.

• A review of the status of the caddis flies (Trichoptera) of Great Britain – The larvae of this group will be familiar to anyone that has ever looked for invertebrates in freshwater. We know comparatively little however about the adults of this group. This review covers nearly 200 species of caddis flies in Great Britain.

• A review of the status of the mayflies (Ephemeroptera) of Great Britain – The mayflies also have an aquatic stage and captivate audiences with their mass emergences as adults and can be seen dancing along the shores of many rivers and still waters. This review covers the 51 mayfly species recorded in Britain.

• A review of the beetles of Great Britain: Ground Beetles (Carabidae) – This group of beetles occur in all types of terrestrial and freshwater habitats from the inter-tidal zone to the highest mountain tops. They are often surveyed as habitat quality indicators. This review covers 369 species.