MSPs champion bugs under threat

Thursday 14th March 2013

Today MSPs are being asked by Scottish Environment to select a threatened species to champion. The species list includes a number of invertebrate species chosen by Buglife.

Wildlife organisations put forward a shortlist of 93 threatened species for MSPs to choose from including the Red squirrel and Scottish primrose. Buglife put forward a number of threatened invertebrate species including the Freshwater pearl mussel (Margaritifera margaritifera), and Narrow-headed ant (Formica exsecta)

Craig Macadam, Buglife Scotland Director said "This is a fantastic opportunity for MSPs to show their commitment to protecting and conserving wildlife. Becoming a species champion will help raise the profile of these endangered species. Buglife is delighted that six MSPs have already selected invertebrates to champion".

Scottish Environment believe that by championing a species the MSPs will be willing to work more closely with wildlife organisations to identify ways to protect and conserve species.
The Bog sun-jumper spider (Heliophanus dampfi) and Pond mud snail (Omphiscola glabra) are invertebrate species already selected by MSPs.

The Bog sun-jumper spider is only known from five sites in central Scotland all of which are now just fragments of what used to be a well connected bog network. Buglife hopes that the threats faced by this species such as bog habitat loss through peat extraction will be brought to the forefront by its champion.

The Pond mud snail was once found at 14 sites in Scotland but has since been lost from most of these. It has suffered huge declines in the past 50 years. Buglife hopes that the profile of this species and the threats it faces such as loss of habitat through agricultural land drainage will be elevated by its champion.

For more information on the species champions visit the Scottish Environment website