Tansy Beetles


Tansy Beetle (Chrysolina graminis) - Species monitoring and Habitat conservation
The Tansy beetle was once widespread in Britain, but it is currently endangered, not just in the UK
but across its worldwide range. It is now a UK Biodiversity Action Plan (UKBAP) priority species,
which means that public bodies have a duty to protect it, together with its habitat. As the beetles
are dependent on tansy as their sole food source, if a clump disappears the beetles have to walk to a
new clump as they are not known to fly. Although Tansy is widespread, unfortunately pressures such
as land-use changes and the increase of invasive species such as Himalayan balsam have resulted in
a decline in Tansy plants over the past few decades. This has had knock-on effects on Tansy Beetle
numbers as beetle populations have become increasingly isolated and can now only be found along
a 30km stretch of the banks of the River Ouse, around York.
Tansy Beetle Action Group
A number of conservation efforts have been put into place to save this stunning beetle. The Tansy
Beetle Action Group (TBAG) is made up of Buglife, North Yorkshire County Council, the City of York
Council, the Environment Agency, the University of York, the National Trust, BIAZA (Zoos
Association) and Yorkshire Wildlife Trust has undertaken a number of conservation measures to
protect the Tansy Beetle. These include:
 -  removing riverside willow and Himalayan balsam, which reduce Tansy growth
    planting Tansy clumps in large gaps to increase beetle movement, as they can only walk a
     maximum of 200 metres
 -  creating safe havens away from the river where beetle populations can be protected from
      summer floods, which cause high mortality
 -   reducing grazing pressure on Tansy by using short-term fencing and livestock management
    ensuring that during Ragwort control work, riverside land owners know the difference
     between Tansy and Ragwort
 -  yearly surveys to monitor populations
What are we doing?
In the summer of 2023 we adopted a stretch of the River Ouse as an area that Bugtopia Hornsea Zoo staff will survey each Year. The data will be be used to help monitor the population in this area.
Future colaboration is planned to assist in conservation of these amazing Beetles, Watch this space!


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