Species Knowledge for Site Management - The Need for Local Information

By David M. Green

It is important to pinpoint the requirements of scarce species at the site where they occur to ensure continuation of populations. Without such knowledge of the details of sites and species it is difficult to assess which species are actually rare and for what reasons, thence take well directed action to promote species, and understand the ideal habitat management. Site management on general principles to promote a habitat type runs the risk of eliminating scarce species, as might happen easily when colonies are localised to a particular part of a site. Coppicing for example is incompatible with many species of beetles and flies. Digging a small ditch can eliminate a colony of specialised craneflies with poor powers of dispersal. Burning branches and stacking logs before removal is incompatible with forest ecology. Yet, all these activities are common, and some may be fine, but sometimes they are the worst option. Sometimes it is asserted that these activities are ideal being historical. Sometimes gardening appears the model.

All this implies detailed survey work is required, following up leads locally, to advance knowledge into tangible information for site management. The other aspect: interpretation to the civic populace, otherwise our scarce species will never be appreciated, unless they are large and showy. The majority of species are not large, but numerous species accounts for the overwhelming part of biodiversity, which is the recognised issue. Progress in these areas by invertebrate survey is required; Worcestershire can be seen well behind some other counties; here scant funding is available for invertebrate survey; and in some places marked lack of interest. The lack of information means that the basic conservation categories of species can be misleading. Identifying sites of importance is impeded when the degree of scarcity of species is uncertain. Much rests on the taxonomic and ecological analysis, for site management and determining how best to go about county surveys.

WBRC Home Worcs Record Listing by Issue Worcs Record Listing by Subject