Moths in spotlight

A rare native moth was in the spotlight when DZG played host to a meeting of the Barberry Highways Group.

barberry-carpet-moth-2webDelegates from Chester Zoo, British Waterways, Drayton Manor, West Leeds Country Park and Butterfly Conservation joined DZG’s team to discuss an ongoing programme to protect the barberry carpet moth.

Led by DZG’s Native Species Co-ordinator, Ian Hughes, the group also discussed the work of the Barberry Highways project, which aims to grow the food plant for caterpillars of the rare moths at several nationwide sites.

Ian said: “The Barberry carpet moth feeds on the common barberry Berberis vulgaris, which has been decline in the UK for several centuries.

barberry-carpet-moth-2web“This has caused the moth to become increasingly rare – at one point the Barberry carpet moth was known at only one site in the UK.

“The Barberry Highways scheme is currently encouraging BIAZA (British and Irish Association of Zoos and Aquariums) collections and British Waterways sites to plant barberry to create suitable habitats and possibly reintroduce the moths from the project’s conservation breeding stocks.”

He added: “The meeting was a great success, with West Leeds and Drayton Manor planning planting at their own sites and British Waterways offering to plant along canal systems once sufficient plants can be sourced.”

CAPTIONS: In the spotlight: DZG is pioneering an ongoing programme with native species delegates across the country to boost conservation of the Barberry carpet moth.