Buglife have launched a campaign asking the people of Scotland to find the biggest and smallest Wood ant nests in the country. With the help of the public, Buglife hope to map Scotland’s wood ant nests and enhance conservation efforts. By understanding Wood ant populations, we can hope to better understand the state of Scottish woodlands and reinforce our need to safeguard Scotland’s natural infrastructure.
Buglife, funded by Scottish Natural Heritage, will be running a series of events across Scotland to encourage people to look out for wood ant nests when they are out on woodland walks this summer. Hayley Wiswell of the Cairngorms National Park Authority is helping to run these events, “An important part of conserving species like wood ants is to raise awareness. The Cairngorms National Park Authority has organised “wood ant walks” over the last two years and these have been well attended by a wide variety of people, from rangers and foresters to people just wanting to learn more about the bizarre ant mounds they see when they walk through the woods! Nest Quest will be featuring at the Cairngorms Nature Festival on the 15th of May and we’ll be taking people out on a “wander for wood ants” to introduce people to recording wood ant nests in their local woodland. See the Cairngorms Nature Festival website for details”
Dr. Jenni Stockan of the James Hutton Institute says, “Wood ants are keystone species and ecosystem engineers so conserving them also helps other species and important ecosystem processes such as nutrient cycling (or pest control)"
Buglife Conservation Officers will be using the data collected from Nest Quest to put onto a map that can be found on the webpage. The goal of Nest Quest is to raise awareness about Wood ants and Scottish woodlands.
Project Website: /nest-quest