Posted by: Sandy Steinman | November 14, 2012

The UK Fens: Important Habitat For Many Species

BBC Nature reported on the importance of Britain’s Fens habitats for plants and wildlife.  Wikipedia describes the Fens as “The Fens, also known as the Fenland(s), are a naturally marshy region in eastern England” . The fens are 3,800 km sq, including the Fenlands of Norfolk, Suffolk, Cambridgeshire and Lincolnshire.

Fen Facts Reported by the BBC:

  • home to 25% of Britain’s rarest wildlife and 13 globally rare species
  • evidence of 13,474 species of plants, insects, birds, fish and mammals.
  • home to 13 species that are included on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of threatened species.
  • European eel is listed as critically endangered, while the white-clawed crayfish is currently listed as endangered.
  • threatened species include black-tailed godwits, otters, Barbastelle bats and Desmoulin’s whorl snail.
  • 82 species that are of significance to the area. half for which the Fens are a ‘primary stronghold’. ( 50% or more of a species occur in the area)
  • white-clawed crayfish is classed as endangered on the IUCN Red List
  • 20 species that are found virtually nowhere elsewhere in the UK, such as the fen ragwort and a subspecies of the heath dog-violet, plus the Rosser’s sac spider, feather-winged beetles, a snail-killing fly Anticheta obviliosa and the Cambridge groundling moth.
  • 30 species of rare hoverflies and 92 rare water beetles.
  • 100 species of birds, bees and butterflies have been lost from the area since 1670 includes 30 flowering plants, 10 beetles, 17 moths and six butterflies that are absent from the Fens due to local or UK extinction.
  • 504 rare species have not been recorded in the last 25 years.

Read more about the Fens,  and restoration efforts BBC Nature – Fens are rare wildlife ‘hotspot’, a new report finds.

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