Wild Bird Charity Turning to Insects, Reintroducing Four Endangered Bugs Into UK

bumble bee photo

Photo by MarilynJane via Flickr CC

The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, or RSPB, is turning its attention and charitable efforts towards insects - four insects in particular. The organization is looking into plans for breeding and reintroducing endangered hoverflies, moths, bees and crickets back into to UK habitats.
"The B in our name stands for birds - and we stand up for birds wherever we can - but our work covers all kinds of wildlife," said Dr Mark Avery, RSPB director of conservation.

The Guardian reports that field crickets will be reintroduced to recreated heathland on reserves in Surrey and West Sussex, and the short-haired bumblebee - extinct in the UK since 1988 but still found in New Zealand after introduction by British settlers a century ago - will be reintroduced to a reserve in Dungeness, Kent, something we first heard about back in June

RSPB is working together with other groups as well. In conjunction with the Scottish Natural Heritage group, RSPB hopes to reintroduce the threatened pine hoverfly to a reserve in Abernethy in 2011. And the Butterfly Conservation is helping the charity to create a captive breeding program for dark bordered beauty moths.

So why is a charity focused on birds now so focused on insects? Dr Avery states, "No conservation organisation worth its salt concentrates on just one species and ignores all others. 2010 is the International Year of Biodiversity and that chimes perfectly with our efforts to protect whole ecosystems on our reserves from the smallest bug to the tallest tree."

That's good news for wildlife in the UK, and inspiring words for other wildlife societies worldwide.

More on UK Wildlife
The Cooperative Launches Plan Bee to Help Save UK's Honeybee
Wild Hare Numbers Rebound Dramatically - Conservation Success
Bumblebees Extinct in the UK to be Reintroduced From Surviving Stock in New Zealand

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