Ecological Studies

Reintroduction of Water Voles at Llangorse Lake

A programme to reintroduce water voles is ongoing in the Brecon Beacons National Park and voles were released around Llangorse Lake in each year from 2008 to 2010. We conducted a water vole survey around the lake in summer 2010 to estimate the surviving population and evaluate the success of the reintroduction programme. The detailed mapping of suitable habitat areas and continued population estimation using a standardised method will assist in future management of this programme.

Conserving Marsh Fritillary Butterflies in Wales

The Marsh Fritillary is a signature Welsh species that is increasingly rare. In collaboration with Butterfly Conservation Wales (BCW) and Rhondda Cynon Taf CBC we are working to enhance MT populations in core areas such Tonyrefail and the Lower Ely Valley. We are using a combination of existing data (CCW Phase 1, BCW layers) and new field work to identify sites that could be managed sympathetically to increase the viability of this striking and unique butterfly species.

Updating the Cardiff Hedgerow Survey

In collaboration with the National Museum of Wales in summer 2012 we re-surveyed Cardiff Hedgerows in light of land use/ownership changes and expanding commercial, infrastructure and residential developments. Overall, the surviving hedges showed increased conservation value but the loss or degradation of a significant number since 1998, was a cause for concern.

Spread of the Horse Chestnut Leaf Miner

Larvae of the alien invasive moth Cameraria ohridella cause unsightly and often severe damage to Horse Chestnut trees. The moth was first seen in Wales in 2005. Use of “sticky traps” on Horse Chestnut trees in Cardiff showed that the number of mines on leaves and number of moths caught, increased with light exposure (i.e. towards the top of the tree). This suggested that the usual method of sampling leaves from the ground, may underestimate moth damage.