Submitting your records

The volume of records is still down on last year so if you have records to send in to us, please do so as soon as you can.  Get in touch if you have any questions.

More info at the Submitting records section of this website or see here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/Kentmoths/permalink/939187452941798/

Cheers

Your Kent CMR team

 

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Latest update on Kent’s Magnificent Moths project

Please see the link below for the latest on this excellent project.  Note in particular the call for any comments or suggestions from Lucia Chmurova, Project Development Officer.

The project has great potential and we all need to get behind it in which ever way we can.

kent27smagnificentmoths-projectupdate

Message from Butterfly Conservation re Oak Processionary

Dear All
 
As you may all be aware, despite the efforts of certain sectors the Oak Processionary moth continues to spread. This will be of no surprise to many of us! As you know there have been control efforts over the years, most recently the focus being to reduce the rate of spread of the moth. Most (but not all) current effort utilises Bacillus thuringiensis var. kurstaki, this sprayed on oak trees targeting young instar larvae. The issue with Bt is that it is not specific to Oak Processionary and impacts on the larvae of a wide range of Lepidoptera species that feed on oaks (and possibly in the understorey/on the ground) at the same time. We are therefore, extremely concerned about the potential negative impacts on biodiversity.
 
We have been working in the background over recent years, for example attending various meetings and workshops with a wide range of interested parties (such as Forestry Commission, Defra, local councils etc.), and have had more detailed discussions with Defra and FC. The thrust of our message is to push a ‘learn to live with’ approach to the management of Oak Processionary. We don’t think we are quite there yet, but this approach is now being discussed in earnest – all very positive. However, it is acknowledged that there will still be control of Oak Processionary in the future as there is unquestionably a human health issue. We (BC) would like to see this control being localised to areas of high human presence, such as around schools, hospitals, car parks etc., but at a much lower level elsewhere, particularly as the moth pushes out into the wider countryside. In early 2016 we produced a position statement which is on our website https://butterfly-conservation.org/files/position-statement-on-the-oak-processionary-moth.pdf
 
As this moth spreads, more people/organisations will become involved. This will include an increasing range of land owners/site managers etc. Clearly we would like them to take the potential impact on biodiversity into account should control measures be considered. Defra are also keen to ensure that potential impacts on biodiversity are considered in that decision making process. As a consequence we are at the early stages of looking into developing a potential tool to help land owners etc. with the decision making process (human/animal health and possibly also tree health are also likely to be part of the bigger picture). This tool would utilise data from the National Moth Recording Scheme (NMRS) (including micro-moths if full coverage of the south east region were to become available) and the Butterflies for the New Millennium (BNM) datasets. The resolution at which this tool would work is yet to be determined, but our currently favoured resolution is at the 1km level. Broadly, we plan to assess the species across the south east region (Sussex, Kent, Essex, Hertfordshire, Middlesex, Buckinghamshire & Berkshire), buffering grid cells to account for habitat use and dispersal. We will then calculate a relative risk score of spraying within the given grid square based on a score given to each species. The species scoring will be weighted according to priority (threat) level, oak feeding, larvae present at time of spraying etc. Individual species or records will not be identified, but the scores for each grid cell will be displayed to land owners considering spraying in categories based on the ecological risk. Once the tool has been tested, it is expected that this will be made available as an online web tool – it is anticipated that this will be available to the public and hosted by Defra.
As mentioned above, please bear in mind that control measures will continue, and without this tool impacts on biodiversity are unlikely to be included in the decision making process of when to spray/when not to spray, with the exception of a relatively few sites. We therefore believe this will be a useful way forward, and will also help raise the profile of moths as useful biodiversity indicators.
 
Further information on Oak Processionary, including a map of its recent distribution, is given at https://www.forestry.gov.uk/oakprocessionarymoth and for nest distribution in 2018 see https://www.forestry.gov.uk/pdf/NestSurveyStatus_Infestation_20180723.pdf/$FILE/NestSurveyStatus_Infestation_20180723.pdf. For the results of pheromone trapping in 2017, see figure 4 in https://www.forestry.gov.uk/pdf/OPM2017operationalreportfinal.pdf/$file/OPM2017operationalreportfinal.pdf
 
As the above proposal involves a novel use of the NMRS and BNM data we felt we should make you aware of this potential development. We are happy to discuss further if you would like and if you have any concerns about the above proposal please do get in touch. Thank you for your time on the above and apologies for the long message.
Best wishes
 
Mark Parsons & Katie Cruickshanks

Kent Field Club Conference

THE KENT WILDLIFE CONFERENCE

SATURDAY 28 OCTOBER 2017

Stacey Lecture Theatre 1, Stacey Building

University of Kent, Canterbury Campus

Registration form is here: THE KENT WILDLIFE CONFERENCE 2 2017 final

The Kent Wildlife Conference, now in its seventeenth year, was created as a way for field naturalists to meet, learn about and discuss the county’s wild plant and animal species.

You are welcome to bring displays or other information about work relevant to Kent natural history, and we especially welcome posters detailing recent research work.

The Conference will be held in the Stacey Lecture Theatre 1, School of Biosciences at the University of Kent’s Canterbury Campus, Canterbury, CT2 7NJ. NOTE THE CHANGE OF VENUE THIS YEAR.

The cost for the day is £20 per person to include refreshments and a buffet lunch. Please enclose a cheque made payable to the Kent Field Club with the completed slip and return by Friday 13th October 2017 to Membership Secretary, 2 West End Cottages, The Street, Doddington, Kent ME9 OBZ.

 Programme

9.50 Welcome and introduction. John Badmin, Kent Field Club.

10.00 Fifteen years of fun, frolics and filing stuff; how KMBRC and other records centres are moving from paper data to embracing the digital age. Hannah Cook, Kent & Medway Biological Records Centre.

10.25 An axiophyte list for Kent – plants that make botanists go “ooh!”.

Sue Buckingham, BSBI recorder for East Kent.

10.50  An atlas of Kent Lepidoptera: a Kent Field Club series book.

David Gardner, Kent Moth Group.

 11.15 – 11.45 Coffee and poster session

11.45  The use of handheld thermal imaging cameras as a tool for predicting dormouse box occupancy and monitoring heat loss in bats captured in harp traps. Pam Worrall, Animal Management, Hadlow College.

12.10  Bredhurst Woodland Action Group – A community project for people, Wildlife and Trees. Vanessa Jones, BWAG Chairman.

12.35  Microbiomes: are they important to all? Gary Robinson, Biosciences Department, University of Kent.

 13.00 – 14.10 Lunch and poster session

14.10  Ecology and conservation of the RDB fringe-horned mason bee Osmia pilicornis in Kent. Rosie Earwaker, Data Management Officer, RSPB.

14.35  Eyeing up biodiversity: accuracy, error and bias in species identification. Gail Austen, Durrell Institute of Conservation Ecology, University of Kent.

15.00  The Fifth Continent scheme: Biodiversity project. Stan Smith, Kent Wildlife Trust.

 15.25 Discussion and Close

Refreshments will be available for those who wish to chat and catch up.

 

Moth dissection course

Moth dissection.

At the last moth group meeting we were asked to look into the possibility of a course on genitalia dissection.

There are two possible routes.

  1. A professional ecologist will run a two day course for six participants. The cost would be about £100 per person.
  2. A local expert will do a one day course on macros only. Cost about £15.

However there is an additional cost for either course. You cannot do dissections without a microscope ( for most species ). We do not know of a venue which could provide these. To buy one, and there is no point doing the course unless you can continue dissecting, would be around £200. A suitable one can be seen on the Anglian Leps site.

Please let us know if you still want us to arrange something ( and state your preference) by e-mailing mothsinkent@gmail.com