Unseen biodiversity - managing for the invisible invertebrates

Lecture Theatre B33, Birkbeck, University of London,
Torrington Square,
United Kingdom

Unseen biodiversity - managing for the invisible invertebrates

Speaker: Roger Key, Consultant, previously Senior Education Officer at Natural England

Friday 21st February, 18.30 - 20.00

Lecture theatre B33, Birkbeck College, Torrington Square, London

Roger Key is an independent environmental/educational consultant in North Yorkshire. He formerly worked as a conservation scientist for over 25 years at the NCC, English Nature & Natural England, taking the lead on invertebrates and their habitats, and environmental education. He's probably best known for his former BBC work with bugs, (presenting on Countryfile, the Countryside Hour, the Really Wild Show) and also for his invertebrate photographs, published by over 300 organizations in 19 countries. Recently he's been involved on research expeditions to South Georgia and St Helena, looking for alien invasive invertebrates (and unfortunately finding far too many), doing huge numbers of children's bug-related events, as well as lecturing and providing invertebrate conservation training for a wide range of universities and other organizations.

Invertebrates are (or should be!) everywhere and are crucial in the functioning of all ecosystems and yet are often totally overlooked when managing habitats for conservation. Many species are in serious decline, and the overall abundance of invertebrates is becoming alarmingly reduced, with serious implications for ecosystem functioning. With a good site sometimes supporting several thousand species, many with completely unknown habitat requirements, taking a species by species approach to their conservation is unrealistic. However, there are general principles that can be followed that will favour both species richness and abundance of invertebrates, especially concentrating on features of the habitat that are often overlooked by habitat managers.

This event is free and open to all, registration is not required.

Management of wildlife habitat

Free lecture Series, Birkbeck, Ecology and Conservation Studies Society, supported by the Linnean Society of London

In a crowded island how do we make space for a diverse wildlife? Until recently, the management of wildlife habitat was by mimicking traditional economic management, in an attempt to preserve rich remnants of the past and deter alien invaders. Dissenting voices, however, argue that we can create large blocks of wilderness, where natural processes allow native species to manage themselves with minimal intervention by us. Another view is that tradition is too focussed on birds, bees and wild flowers, ignoring most other biodiversity. Yet others find value in mixtures of both native and established exotic species and argue that it's difficult and unnecessary to strive purely for natives. This series asks whether our traditional management prescriptions needs an update?