Over eight thousand sign to save critically endangered spider

Thursday 22nd January 2015

Update Feb 2015: We've launched an urgent crowdfunder campaign to save the Horrid ground weaver from extinction. Please pledge today! 

A petition by Buglife to save one of the World’s rarest spiders has been met with resounding success after receiving over 8,800 signatures in less than a week. The petition was against the plans to build new houses in an old quarry in Plymouth, one of only two sites in the world where the Horrid ground weaver (Nothophantes horridus) lives.

Originally the development for 57 new houses in Radford Quarry, Plymstock was refused by Plymouth Council but the applicant has appealed the decision and a planning inquiry has started this week. Buglife had objected the development last year, concerned that destroying one of two sites where the Horrid ground weaver is found, would push it closer to extinction.  

Andrew Whitehouse, South West Manager of Buglife said “We have been overwhelmed by the response to our petition. It is fantastic that so many people have signed to show how much they care about our invertebrates”

Radford Quarry is a County Wildlife Site and home to a wonderful array of interesting bugs and other wildlife. As well as being home to the Critically Endangered spider, the Horrid ground weaver, there are species such as the Wall brown butterfly (Lasiommata megera) and the ground beetle Tachys bistriatus, both species have declined in numbers considerably over recent years.

Andrew added “The Horrid ground weaver may be a very small spider with an unusual name, but it has captured the hearts of so many who do not want to see it driven close to extinction. We have submitted the petition and thank everyone who has shown their support. We hope that the right decision is made over the future of Radford Quarry, for this special spider, and for the other wildlife riches of the site.”