Survey and monitoring
One of the priorities of ZSL’s UK Native Species Programme is to obtain comprehensive and up-to-date records of which native species are present at ZSL London Zoo and ZSL Whipsnade Zoo, and to monitor population numbers of rare and threatened species.
Surveying for insects at Whipsnade This information is vital for informing habitat management work and site plans.
Survey and monitoring work is regularly carried out by ZSL staff and volunteers, for example there is a weekly butterfly transect during the warmer months of the year and also regular bat walks on summer evenings.
Recently, ZSL became a partner in the Rothamstead Insect Survey and has set up a Rothamstead moth survey station at London Zoo. The Rothamstead Survey is a national monitoring programme that has been going for over 40 years. Results have shown that many common species of moths have suffered devastating declines in Britain over recent years.
External experts and groups are regularly invited to survey ZSL’s sites, for example members of the British Entomological and Natural History Society recently surveyed Whipsnade for moths and other insects.
Species records are entered onto a database, and from 2005 onwards these records will be sent to the relevant local records centres, county recorders, and the National Biodiversity Network.