Getting the bug at Moors Valley (Aug 2016)

Getting the bug at Moors Valley (Aug 2016)

Over 230 wildlife species were recorded in a recent BioBlitz wildlife survey at Moors Valley Country Park near Ringwood, including one nationally rare species.

Park Rangers were joined by members of the public, volunteers and identification experts for a full day of species recording as part of the national BioBlitz programme. Amongst the tally of birds, bees, insects and mammals were over 100 moths, one of which, the Dingy Mocha, appears on the UK Biodiversity Action Plan and international Red List of endangered species.

The event was organised by Moors Valley’s sustainability champion, Assistant Ranger Sara Tschersich, and Park staff and volunteers began the 24-hour survey at midnight on 26 July before being joined by the public from 9am on the 27th. The day was split into a number of sessions focussing on different animal/plant or habitat groups.

The tally of species also included plants, birds, mammals, reptiles, butterflies, dragonflies, bees and other insects.

The Dingy Mocha moth was recorded by Conservation Ranger Robin Harley and moth expert Phil Budd on the first evening.

A brief sighting of the notoriously shy water vole was caught on video by a trail camera trained on the Moors River, providing evidence of the success of the Park’s reintroduction programme in 2011.

BioBlitz organiser, Sara Tschersich said, “A BioBlitz is a great way to appreciate the richness and variety of the wildlife in a particular area. Carried out on an annual basis, as we do at Moors Valley, it also helps to monitor the environmental health of the area being studied and identify changes over time.

“The Dingy Mocha moth is only found in Dorset and west Hampshire so it was particularly exciting to discover it at Moors Valley for the first time. The presence of water voles and Dingy Moths are good indicators of the success of our wildlife habitat management.”

A BioBlitz focuses on finding and identifying as many species as possible in a specific area over a short period of time. Scientists, families, students, teachers, and other community members work together to get an overall count of the plants, animals, fungi, and other organisms living in a particular location.

More information on BioBlitz can be found at

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Editor’s notes:

A selection of high resolution images can be downloaded from the press images gallery.