Species Recovery Projects

We won’t know what we’ve got till it’s gone…

Many of the bugs we know about already have incredible life stories, abilities and the power to help the human race with medicines, natural pest control, as processors and recyclers of waste, the pollinators of food crops and flowers, and they provide much of the colour, sounds and movements that animate the natural world. Yet we still have so much to discover. With so many species under threat, we literally don’t know what we are on the brink of losing.

Buglife is working hard to find out more about bugs and what they need, focusing on those under the greatest threat.

Buglife is committed to:

  • stopping the extinction of invertebrate species
  • achieving sustainable populations of invertebrates

Current Single Species Recovery Projects

Blue Ground Beetle (Carabus intricatus) © John Walters

South West Blue Ground Beetle Project

Our South West Blue Ground Beetle Project (2022) will improve our understanding of Blue Ground Beetle populations and undertake surveys within ancient woodland fragments across South Devon and Cornwall

Horrid Ground-weaver (Nothophantes horridus) © Tom Thomson

Horrid Ground-weaver Project

Our Horrid Ground-weaver Species Recovery Project (2023) will help us to better understand the ecology of this spider, where it can be found and how we can best conserve these populations for the future.

Ladybird Spider Project

Our Ladybird Spider Species Recovery Project (2023) will train a small number of carefully selected volunteers on how to survey for and manage areas for these very special spiders.

Six-banded Nomad Bee (Nomada sexfasciata) © Philip Strange

Six-banded Nomad Bee Project

Our Six-banded Nomad Bee Project (2023) will undertake surveys and learn more about populations of Long-horned Bee to support populations of the Six-banded Nomad Bee.

Strandline Beetle (Eurynebria complanata) © Liam Olds

Strandline Beetles in England Project

Our Strandline Beetles in England Project (2023) will will be undertaking surveys for Strandline Beetles and encourage Citizen Scientists to join the search.

Narrow-headed Ant (Formica exsecta) © Gus Jones

Narrow-headed Ant Project

Our Narrow-headed Ant Project (2023) will build on previous Back from the Brink successes to continue to support their fragile populations.

Current Multi-species Recovery Projects

Scotland © Sean McGrath

Species on the Edge

Species on the Edge is an ambitious programme for species recovery in Scotland, that aims to take action on over 37 declining and threatened species across Scotland’s coasts and islands.

Prawle Point © Andrew Whitehouse

Life on the Edge

“Life on the Edge” is an exciting new Buglife partnership project that aims to restore viable populations of some of the UK’s rarest invertebrates and plants living along the South Devon coast.

Overton Mere – Rhossili © David Kilner

Natur am Byth!

Natur am Byth! is Wales’ flagship conservation programme.  A partnership of nine environmental charities with Natural Resources Wales which aims to protect endangered species; connecting, reconnecting and building connections with Welsh communities and their natural heritage.

Historic (Ended) Projects

Ancients of the Future

Ancient trees support a vast array of incredibly rare species this project aims to save 28 of the most threatened species.

Jewels of Lough Erne

The Zircon reed beetle in Northern Ireland

Oil Beetles

Oil beetles are incredible insects, but they are also under threat. Three of UK’s native oil beetles are now extinct, and the remaining five species have suffered drastic declines in their distributions due to changes in the way our countryside is managed.

Breckland Ground Beetles

The Brecks are home to a unique assemblage of ground beetles associated with disturbed habitats, notably the arable brecks.

Blue Ground Beetle (Carabus intricatus)

Welsh Blue Ground Beetle Project

The Welsh Blue Ground Beetle project aimed to conserve the natural heritage of the Blue Ground Beetle and the long-term protection of its ancient woodland habitat in Coed Maesmelin.

Cornwall Marvellous Mud Snails

‘Marvellous Mud Snails’ was a fun and exciting public engagement project that created a healthier and more resilient population of the Pond mud snail in Cornwall.

Streaked Bombardier Beetle

So rare in the UK, that it has only recently been agreed and accepted as a native species. It was thought to be extinct for more than 75 years.

Scarlet Malachite Beetle

This little beetle is one of the UK’s rarest and most beautiful insects. The Scarlet malachite beetle (Malachius aeneus) is a beautiful red and green insect, found on just eight sites in the UK.

Sea Aster Mining Bee

The Sea aster mining bee (Colletes halophilus) is a rare bee restricted to the margins of salt marshes in East Anglia and the Thames Estuary, with occasional populations along the south and east coasts. The UK supports nationally important populations, with the bee restricted globally to the North Sea coastline.

New Forest Cicada

Thanks to funding from the Forestry Commission, Buglife experts and volunteers joined forces with wildlife sound recorders and Southampton University. For the first time old fashioned entomological survey methods, high-tech sound recording equipment and a smartphone app were used to search for the New Forest Cicada.

Bog Hoverfly (2012)

The Bog Hoverfly (Eristalis cryptarum) is a rare hoverfly that in recent years has been found only within a restricted area of Dartmoor. This hoverfly has been identified in the UK Biodiversity Action Plan (UKBAP) as a priority species for conservation action.

Rosser's Sac Spider

This project helped to conserve one of the UK’s rarest and most elusive spiders, known from only two sites in the Cambridgeshire Fens.

Chestnut Click Beetle

75 year ago the Chestnut click beetle (Anostirus castaneus) was found on a number of sites between Durham and South Wales. Now it’s only found at two locations in Britain: Birk Cragg, Crag Lane, Harrogate, HG3 1QA and in an area of soft cliffs on the Isle of Wight.

Northern February Red Stonefly

Action for Invertebrates

A joint organisation project that targeted 12 rare invertebrates.

Bordered Brown Lacewing

This exciting species focused project raised awareness of the very rare Bordered brown lacewing (Megalomus hirtus) and its relatives through surveys and workshops.

Spotting Pot Beetles

Pot beetles are a fascinating and charismatic group of leaf beetles that are very rare in Scotland! The Spotting Pot Beetles project raised awareness of Pot beetles through workshops and surveys.

Scottish Mason Bees

Solitary bees are amazing insects! The Scottish Mason Bees project raised awareness of Mason bees and other bees through workshops and surveys to look for rare species across Scotland.

Marvellous Mud Snails

‘Marvellous Mud Snails’ was a fun and exciting public engagement project that created a healthier and more resilient population of the Pond mud snail in Scotland.

Nest Quest

Nest Quest was an exciting community engagement project which provided opportunities for volunteers to learn about the ecology of wood ants, species identification and how to help protect their local wood ant populations.

Tansy Beetle

The Tansy beetle was once widespread in Britain, but it is currently endangered, not just in the UK but across its worldwide range.

Shrill carder bee

The Shrill carder bee project is part of the Back from the Brink project and worked in the Thames Gateway to enhance knowledge and habitat for this now rare bumblebee.

Bugs on the Brink

Conservation for the rare endemic species on St Helena

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