Individual study: Reintroduction of the netted carpet moth Eustroma reticulatum to Derwentwater, The Lake District, Cumbria, England
Hooson J. & Haw K. (2008) Reintroduction of the netted carpet moth Eustroma reticulatum to Derwentwater, The Lake District, Cumbria, England. Conservation Evidence, 5, 80-82
The netted carpet moth Eustroma reticulatum is one of the rarest moths in the UK where it now occurs only in a few sites in The Lake District of northwest England. In the late 1990's there was a decline in its larval foodplant, touch-me-not balsam Impatiens noli-tangere; a highly isolated netted carpet colony at Derwentwater almost certainly became locally extinct because of the extreme food shortages. Subsequently the balsam recovered and an attempt was made to reintroduce the moth to this locality by translocation of 30 larvae in September 2006. However, in September 2007 the site was surveyed for larvae, but none were found. The procedure was repeated (40 larvae translocated) in September 2007 but at an alternative site at this locality where the foodplant was more abundant and conditions were considered more favourable. In September 2008, surveys revealed four netted carpet moth larvae, considered progeny of the previous year's introduction; in order to bolster this initial success, a further 150 larvae were translocated. This movement of larger numbers of larvae was possible because of their unprecedented abundance found in the actively managed donor site. Monitoring is ongoing to ascertain the longer-term success of the translocations.