Buglife Cymru’s first Species Champion, Rebecca Evans AM, visited the Gower last week in search of the Black oil beetle.
The WEL Species Champions initiative asks Assembly Members to lend political support to the protection of Wales’ special and threatened wildlife by becoming ‘Species Champions’. The project aims to highlight the incredible diversity of nature in Wales, and will help to ensure Wales delivers on the ambitions within the Environment (Wales) Act and the Well-being of Future Generations Act.
The day began with a short presentation on oil beetle ecology and how to identify them, followed by a walk along the Wales coast path in south Gower. We were joined members of staff and volunteers from National Trust and local entomologists.
Rebecca said: “Learning more about the intricate life cycle of the Black oil beetle stresses the importance of connected wildflower rich habitats which we have some great examples of here on the Gower. I am delighted to be the Species Champion for Black oil beetle, and look forward to working with Buglife Cymru to support the conservation of this unique beetle.”
Clare Dinham, Buglife Cymru said: “Whilst we didn’t encounter Black oil beetles on the day it was a great opportunity to spend time with our Species Champion, highlighting the importance of well connected wildflower rich habitats that the oil beetles and their hosts, solitary bees, depend upon. We did encounter lots of other wildlife on the coast path, including the Bloody-nosed beetle which can sometimes be mistaken for oil beetles.”
Buglife Cymru launched its Wales Oil beetle survey earlier this spring.