Nature Today | Towards a European red list moth

Moths are also a very diverse and diverse group and an important part of European fauna. They are found on beaches, mountain tops, and from the Mediterranean to sub-Arctic regions, and contribute to important ecosystem services such as plant pollination and nutrient recycling. Moths are often very specialized organisms, depending on one or more food plants. They are often associated with certain habitat structures and a specific (micro) climate. In many European countries the population is declining and in some cases measured. Walton and others reported a dramatic rate of moth infestation in Hungary in 2017 and severe poverty of moth communities. Antao et al reported a large number of moths in Finland by 2020, although species diversity has increased. In the UK, Bell et al concluded that by 2020 the number of moths there would have dropped by 31 per cent in 47 years.

Rose petal, rosemary, lettuce root worm, interchangeable autumn owl & flint butterfly

RiotwingInformation on biodiversity and the occurrence and trends of moths are important in achieving global and European environmental protection goals. Knowledge is limited and difficult to access. This project should change that. At the European level, the EU Biodiversity Strategy clearly sets the goal of reversing the decline of pollination across Europe by 2030 through the EU Natural Reconstruction Program and the EU Pollination Initiative. The latter was launched in 2018 by the European Commission to improve knowledge about wild pollination, especially in Europe on the causes and effects of their decline. Moths are also part of this group.

Brown Autumn Owl, Striped Golden Spanner, Flame Owl, Katy Dust Owl & Hummingbird Butterfly

Black dot owlThe vision of the European Red List is to produce reliable information on the biodiversity available to support the work of conservationists, scientists, planners, policymakers and others. Red list data are mainly used as indicators of biodiversity trends at the species level, but can also be used as indicators of trends at habitat and ecosystem levels. Through this new project on EU-funded moths, experts will work on assessing the regional status of all native macro moth species in Europe and in the selection of micro moth species. The project started in April 2021 and is expected to run until March 2024.

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For more information, please contact IUCN Secretariat In Brussels.

Text: Sarin Parsoumian, IUCN & Cars Welling, Butterfly Foundation
Photos: Cars Welling (Front Photo: Big Evening Red)

Ferdinand Woolridge

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