Supporting Invertebrate Conservation

Brownfield habitats © Liam Olds

 Important Invertebrate Areas  About IIAs Selecting and Mapping IIAs Supporting Invertebrate Conservation IIAs in Planning   IIA Landscapes  Single Species IIAs  Using IIA Maps and Profiles FAQ  IIA Data Providers   IIA Document Library 

Important Invertebrate Areas (IIAs) are the best places in Great Britain for our invertebrates, which have been identified using the most up-to-date data available from over 80 national expert recording schemes. They support some of our rarest and most threatened species, vulnerable habitats and unique assemblages of invertebrates.


Supporting Invertebrate Conservation

Supporting the recovery of invertebrates can be complicated – there is a huge diversity of species, all with different lives, different ecological needs, and different distributions.

One aim of the IIA programme is to make this easier – to take complex technical information and translate and distil it into a format which is accessible and usefulThis will ensure that ecologists, planners, local authorities, statutory bodies, conservation organisations, land managers and other decision makers are able to better understand the importance of individual sites and whole landscapes for invertebrates, and make better informed decisions to support nature’s recovery. 

A completed suite of IIA maps and profiles will enable: 

  • The effective focusing of invertebrate conservation efforts across Great Britain to where it is needed most. This includes the coordinated management of specific habitats for species and assemblages across sites within IIAs. 
  • Landscape scale strategies such as local nature recovery networks to better incorporate the needs of invertebrate species so opportunities to support species recovery are not missed. 
  • Review of the effectiveness of Protected Area Networks such as Sites of Special Scientific Interest in representing the most important sites for invertebrates. Statutory protected sites are the backbone of conservation and the IIA network can help to highlight gaps where further designation of sites is required.  
  • Identification of Local Wildlife Sites in the landscape. 
  • Identify gaps between high-quality invertebrate habitats which could form the basis of habitat creation and restoration work to buffer existing habitats and improve connectivity.
  • Raised profiles for invertebrate communities, including less well-known species and groups. 
  • Promotion of often overlooked and small-scale habitat features that can be important for invertebrates but are often neglected e.g. seepages or ephemeral water bodies. 
  • Landowners and land managers to recognise the value of land under their stewardship that is important for invertebrates, giving them the opportunity to consciously consider invertebrates in land management decisions. 


To reverse the historic declines in invertebrates, we need better managed and protected landscapes for invertebrates – see Buglife’s No Insectinction manifesto. This requires their needs to be properly embedded into landscape and conservation priorities. IIAs can help to provide the evidence base.