Barberry Carpet Moth Breeding Project
Dudley Zoo's major contirbution to this important project for a native species
The Barberry Carpet Moth has been bred since 1993 either at Dudley Zoo or, with its financial support, as an outreach programme.
Releases to prepared introduction sites were conducted from 1999 to 2003 when the release project was put on hold by English Nature (as a result all other conservation breeders have ceased to work with the moth). Several thousand were sent to five release sites. The moth was found on three of these sites in 2006 and one in 2007 (it should be noted that the moth is not often found in surveys!).
The captive population is still breeding very well (currently c. 200 moths flying) and is coupled with a barberry plant propagation project (native barberry (Berberis vulgaris) is a rare plant in the UK) in coalition with Natural England and Butterfly Conservation.
Discussions are now under way to begin a new release project on a grand scale using this stock. (Management guidelines have been produced and Ian Hughes advised on the production of BIAZA format management guidelines).