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Dec 1, 2008

Barberry Carpet Moth

Barberry Carpet Moth from Dudley Zoological Gardens

The Barberry Carpet Moth Conservation Project - Conservation of a native species

Since 1991 Dudley Zoo has been in coalition with English Nature/Natural England to conserve the threatened barberry carpet moth, restricted, at one time, to a single known site in the UK in a hedgerow in Suffolk that has since been destroyed by fire. This project has never been part of the ARKs programme but has been supported, regardless of funding, through turbulent times for both the Dudley Zoo and English Nature/Natural England.

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 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).

Over 11,000 moths were supplied to English Nature for release between 1999 and 2002. Some of these confidential sites still hold the moth although no introductions have taken place since 2002. 

Developed by:  Dudley Zoological Gardens

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