Big numbers for the tiny Tansy

Monday 4th January 2016

The number of Tansy beetles found along the banks of the River Ouse has grown again in 2015, taking the estimated number of beetles to just over 24,000.  The annual survey, carried out by volunteers in late summer, has shown an increase of about 3000 beetles since last year.  Geoff Oxford, who co-ordinates the annual surveys on behalf of the Tansy Beetle Action Group (TBAG), said ‘These figures are the highest since we started full annual surveys in 2009.  It’s another great year for the beetles’.

The Tansy Beetle is a beautiful, shiny green beetle that feeds on the Tansy plant.  Although the plant is quite common along the banks of the Ouse, the beetles are not great flyers making it difficult for them to get to new areas.  As a result they are now only found in a few small pockets in York which are prone to flooding, putting the insects at risk.

Sophie Badrick, Buglife’s Tansy Beetle Conservation Officer, said ‘It’s brilliant news.  The Tansy beetle is so charismatic that it’s great to know it continues to thrive along the banks of the Ouse.  There’s still a lot to do to improve their habitat along the riverbanks though.  If people want to get involved with helping the beetle numbers continue to grow then the Tansy Beetle Champions project has lots of opportunities coming up in 2016’
The Tansy Beetle Champions project aims to get people involved in the conservation of the Tansy Beetle by offering volunteering opportunities and running a series of walks, talks, events and activities throughout the York area.  Anyone wishing to get involved should contact Sophie, [email protected]