Important Invertebrate Areas

Important Invertebrate Areas (IIAs) are nationally or internationally significant places for the conservation of invertebrates and the habitats upon which they rely.

The UK and its diverse habitats support nearly 40,000 invertebrate species. They are vital to our lives, underpinning the ecosystem services which provide us with food, fertile soils and clean water, and the wildlife-rich habitats which we all enjoy. However, invertebrates are declining in response to widespread habitat loss and fragmentation, urbanisation, changing agricultural and land management practices, environmental pollution, non-native invasive species and many other factors.

The map on this page shows the broad-scale hectad map of IIAs for England, Wales and Scotland. Over the coming years, fine-scale maps will be produced for each IIA together with a profile document highlighting its key features and habitats for invertebrates as well as a selection of qualifying invertebrate species. Selecting an IIA will reveal its name and display any additional information such as a detailed profile, fine-scale map and downloadable files.

IIAs are an exciting and vital tool to help identify the sites that support our most threatened and declining species to help develop a coordinated approach to securing sustainable invertebrate populations into the future and prevent their extinction. IIAs uses the knowledge and data of over 85 national recording schemes and over 45 million records, developed closely with data and taxonomic specialists to ensure a rigorous approach. IIAs have been selected where they support a nationally significant assemblage of species or support a single globally endangered, European endangered or national Critically Endangered species.

In 2018 the final broad-scale map of IIAs for England, Wales and Scotland was created. Over the coming years, Buglife will work with local stakeholders and experts to produce fine-scale maps for each IIA to identify the core network of sites that help to support the IIAs invertebrate interest.

The Important Invertebrate Areas report can be downloaded (Coming soon), while there is also a Technical Report that outlines the processes and decisions made in creating the IIA map (Coming soon).

For more information on this project, if you think there might be the opportunity to map the IIAs in your area, please contact [email protected]

Important Invertebrate Areas have been funded by the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation and People’s Postcode Local Trust and would not be possible without the continued expertise and support of the national recording schemes.

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