Most invertebrate species are not offered the same level of protection as the higher profile protected species such as bats or dormice, but these species groups still offer an important contribution to biodiversity, and a number of species are legally protected, listed as priorities for conservation on the UK or local BAP or are otherwise considered to be of conservation concern.
- Invertebrates are a vital source of food for wild mammals, reptiles and birds (as well as other invertebrates!)
- 97% of all animal species are invertebrates
- ‘Oak apples’ or galls are formed when a female gall wasp lays her eggs in a leaf bud. The developing larvae secrete chemicals which make the tree form the protective gall around them
- The western honey bee has been introduced to nearly all parts of the world by humans, but they are thought to have originated in India
Will I need an invertebrate survey?
Surveys for invertebrates will be required for development sites where there is potential for important species or species assemblages to be present, or for larger schemes where there will be a significant level of disruption to suitable habitats. This is to ensure that any important species are picked up and can be considered in terms of impact and mitigation and to ensure that the scheme as a whole will not have an overall detrimental effect on biodiversity.
Invertebrate surveys will vary in scope. The scope of the survey will depend on the size and nature of the site and development proposals, but are likely to include a scoping visit by an invertebrate specialist to design the survey, which may involve day-time visits to record or catch invertebrates and perhaps night-time moth trapping. Surveys will be designed following Natural England guidance.
What happens if you find important species using the site I wish to develop?
The results of the survey(s) will be used to identify issues that need to be considered through the design of the scheme, to identify the likely impacts of the development and to design suitable mitigation measures in consultation with the design team. Mitigation measures for invertebrates will vary, but will usually focus on habitat availability.
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