Out of the ashes for crickets
Monday 22 August 2005
Hundreds of British field crickets are released back into the wild by ZSL and English Nature.
British field crickets are an endangered native animal and their release is part of the Species Recovery Programme, a wider conservation project that promotes captive breeding and release efforts in order to help prevent extinction.
The crickets were released at three locations around the country after being bred by ZSL at London Zoo’s invertebrate conservation unit and it is hoped their release will strengthen the chance of viable breeding colonies in the UK.
Population levels of British field crickets became critically low in the UK over 15 years ago and ZSL and English Nature have been working to supplement these depleted populations ever since. In the late 1980s population levels were as low as 100 individuals, found in a single colony in West Sussex, and it was clear, that without help, this species would be extinct within six years.
ZSL has been actively involved in native species re-introduction programmes for many years and has worked to conserve wild populations of a range of animals including corncrakes, dormice, Barberry carpet moths and red kites.
Zoo visitors can see a whole host of invertebrates at London Zoo’s BUGS exhibit and take a wander along the woodland walk by the Regents Canal; an area of the zoo devoted to helping save London’s native species such as hedgehogs, moorhens and water voles.