Individual study: Establishment of three new populations of the protected barberry carpet moth Pareulype berberata in Wiltshire, Northamptonshire and Suffolk, UK
Waring P. (2004) Successes in conserving the Barberry Carpet moth Pareulype berberata (D. & S.) (Geometridae) in England. Journal of Insect Conservation, 8, 167-171
The barberry carpet moth Pareulype berberata is protected in the UK under the Wildlife and Countryside Act, having declined to only one site in Suffolk in the 1980s. Its caterpillars feed on common barberry Berberis vulgaris. Until the 1970s, farmers were advised to grub out barberry because it was a secondary host for wheat-rust, a practice that continued into the 1990s. This paper reports attempts to re-establish populations of the barberry carpet moth.
Captive-bred barberry carpet moths were released at ten sites in Wiltshire, Northamptonshire, Lincolnshire, Suffolk, Cambridgeshire and Norfolk . No details of the captive breeding process are given, except that each individual project started with a small number of adults or larvae from a source population.
Three of the ten sites - in Wiltshire, Northamptonshire and Suffolk - established self-maintaining populations. The new population in Wiltshire had already survived for five years. There was no obvious connection between the number of barberry bushes, or the number of larvae released, and the chance of success.