New studies will help drive protections for beetles

Two new studies into groups of British beetles have been published by Natural England to provide a better picture of the conservation status of these insects.

Natural England has this week (1 August) published the first comprehensive reviews for two groups of beetles in Great Britain for over two decades, offering a vital insight into what needs to be done to protect dozens of species.

The reviews paint a picture for 143 species of rove beetles and longhorn beetle across England, Scotland and Wales, to help inform the conservation needs of these species.

The findings will help ecologists to protect beetles, which are an important food source for many animals and also play a crucial role in the natural world by recycling decaying organic matter.

The reviews are also the first to apply the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s (IUCN) Red List criteria for the assessment of species threat status to these beetle groups, establishing the conservation status of these ecologically important species against international standards.

Allan Drewitt, Natural England Senior Specialist, said:

These reviews are critical to our understanding of these species’ conservation status and their ecological requirements. They reveal how changes in land use in modern Britain are affecting wildlife and what we need to do if we are to safeguard its future.

That is why we are working with JNCC and Buglife through the Species Status project to produce these reviews.

The reports include habitat management measures which landowners and land managers can take to help protect the habitats of these vulnerable species as well as a wide range of other wildlife.

Craig Macadam, Conservation Director with Buglife, said:

Recent reports have shown that invertebrates are facing an extinction crisis. Worldwide, thousands of invertebrate species are declining and many are heading towards extinction.

Each invertebrate species plays a unique and important role in the web of life but once lost they cannot be replaced. Many invertebrates have incredible life stories yet to be told and we literally don’t know what we are on the brink of losing.

These reports are incredibly important, providing the information needed to prioritise conservation action and prevent further invertebrate extinctions.

Monitoring the status and abundance of beetles can provide an important indication of the health of natural ecosystems.


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