Considering how worked up people seem to get about white-tailed eagles I thought I ought to come clean about some of our other plans for reintroductions this year. 

We are reintroducing field crickets to areas of re-created heathland at the RSPB nature reserves at Farnham Heath, Surrey and Pulborough Brooks, West Sussex in April.  Field cricket populations have declined severely due to habitat loss and were at their lowest point in the late 1980s after they were reduced to a single surviving colony of just 100 individuals in Sussex. We are working with Natural England and partners to help increase the cricket’s range and make it more robust to changes in the future, such as climate change.

In the summer we, the Bumblebee Conservation Trust, Natural England and Hymettus will be reintroducing the short haired bumblebee to our nature reserve at Dungeness, Kent – near to the site of the UK’s last recorded population in 1988. The short haired bumblebee was once widespread in the south of England but has disappeared as a result of changes in farming methods. However, populations taken to New Zealand by British settlers a century ago have thrived – and now conservationists will be bringing some back to help repopulate their homeland.

In Scotland the RSPB and Scottish Natural Heritage will be laying the groundwork for a planned reintroduction of the threatened pine hoverfly to the RSPB’s Abernethy nature reserve in 2011 . One of Britain’s most endangered insects, the pine hoverfly only breeds in the hollows of tree stumps created by fungi. In the past dead tree stumps were removed from the ground leading to a crash in the populations of the insect.

Also in Scotland this year, the RSPB and Butterfly Conservation will establish a captive breeding programme in the Spey Valley in an attempt to create a sustainable population of dark bordered beauty moths. If this is successful the moths will be released next year. The dark bordered beauty moth, which lives in aspen woodland and heathland, currently only exists in two colonies in Scotland and one in northern England.

We have recorded over 13,000 species of plant and animal on our 200+ RSPB nature reserves - only c3% of the species are birds.  These really are nature reserves and just like a few birds need a hand in finding the right places to settle, so do some of our invertebrate species. 

And it's great to share experience, and costs!, with a range of other partner organisations.  Working collaboratively is often good fun!

Anonymous
  • Another interesting Blog Mark , seems like lots going on.

    Great pastime for the summer months when the birds are quitening down  but omg, its difficult, We go out armed with the books  and magnifying glasses and our sannies and sit and crawl around in fields,( not meadows, they all have houses on them now, and no RSPB reserves in Ayrshire??) and always surprise ourselves with how few we've remembered from the previous year.  Just wish there was a George McGovern everywhere we went.

    I'm sure Richard  has mentioned the Pine Hoverfly in his blogs previously???did he come across them when'tidying' up the Osprey nest ? don't remember if it was last season or 2008.   will have to scroll through to verify.

  • Hi Mark just found what I consider quite offensive comment that I mentioned in fact £2.5 billion put as a e-mail from RSPB challenge 2010.What a way to foster good relations,very much doubt the facts or at very best I bet they are badly twisted.Think lots of farmers will feel badly hurt as I seem to repeat many,many times if the experts tell farmers what they want and what they will pay for the farmers will certainly comply.Suggest some anti-farmers stop kicking farmers while they have a full belly.

    As a extra point look at graphs showing the % of wage spent on food comparing the last 6 decades and then thank the Lord for efficient farmers that by spending so much less % on food means you can all have what 60 years ago could not have been afforded like foreign holidays,T V,cars,phones,mobile phones and loads of other things,all affordable because of cheap food.

    Consider it a very cheap jibe from RSPB.        

  • Nice one Mark,think that gives us a lot to think about,at least 8.30.