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Tansy beetle conservation

To conserve the Tansy beetle a number of approaches have been adopted:-  

·         With the landowner's permission, small enclosures have been created to enable stands of tansy plants to develop unhindered. This measure has also been used to create a line of tansy islands between existing stands of tansy to enable the beetle to expand its range. This is necessary because over time grazing by stock has made the distance between existing tansy stands so great that beetles are unable to walk from one stand to the next. Research has shown that distances greater than about 200m between tansy clumps hinders colonisation by beetles.

Tansy enclosure

Tansy enclosure

·         In certain locations where tansy beetles are evident, measures are taken to control the spread of Himalayan balsam and willow. Both plants will shade out tansy plants. Since Himalayan balsam is an annual, it can be treated with herbicide (with permission from the Environment Agency) or pulled out to prevent production of seeds. Willow trees are usually coppiced back rather than removed. This is important as the willow’s root system binds the soil of the river bank reducing erosion during floods.

·         Creation of tansy beetle ark sites away from the river Ouse. A number of organisations are growing tansy plants to enable breeding populations of tansy beetles to be established, which will be unaffected by catastrophic flooding of the Ouse.

·         Evaluate, in partnership with other organisations, the feasibility of re-introducing tansy beetles to sites where they have historically been recorded.

·         Quantify year on year changes to the beetle range and population size.

·         Research into the biology of the tansy beetle is being conducted by the Entomology Section of York University with the aim of gaining a better understanding into the factors that influence the species survival.