Wednesday, 13 June 2012

New home created for one of UK’s most endangered beetles

New ‘brownfield' site created for rare beetle
June 2012. Wildlife charity, Buglife - The Invertebrate Conservation Trust and The University of East London (UEL) have created a new home for one of the UK's most endangered invertebrates - the Streaked bombardier beetle (Brachinus sclopeta). 

Only recently found in the UK
In the UK, the Streaked bombardier beetle has only recently been found on a couple of ex-industrial sites called brownfields in the Thames Gateway, London. One of these brownfield sites, had already been destroyed.

Just days before their second home was due to be destroyed, fifteen Streaked bombardier beetles were rescued in an emergency operation. The beetles have now been re-homed on a new designer brownfield site at the University of East London's Docklands Campus. 

Sarah Henshall, Buglife Brownfield Manager said "Wildlife rich brownfields are being lost at an alarming rate in the Thames Gateway, not enough is being done to protect the homes of endangered animals. Buglife and the University of East London had no choice, we had to create new habitat for the Streaked bombardier beetle on the nearby UEL Docklands Campus site".

Mock brownfield habitat
Buglife and UEL created a mock brownfield habitat using over 60 tonnes of bricks, chalk and rubble, the brick was kindly donated by Wienerberger Ltd and the other material was funded by London Pleasure Gardens. 

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