Protection and survey methods
In England and Wales, three European Protected Species (EPS), are protected by the Conservation of Habitats and Species Regulation (2017); Large blue butterflies (eggs, caterpillars, chrysalises and adults), Fisher’s estuarine moths (eggs, caterpillars, chrysalises and adults) and Little ramshorn whirlpool snails.
Where these species occur, the sites are often designated as sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSIs) and Special Areas of Conservation (SAC). Under the Conservation of Habitats and Species Regulation, it is illegal to capture, kill, disturb or injure these species, either on purpose or through lack of care. Together with three European Protected Species, four hundred other species form the invertebrate species of principal importance in England and are included within: Schedule 5 of the the Wildlife and Countryside Act (1981) and are S41 Priority Species protected through the Natural Environment and Rural Communities Act (2006).
65% of all species on the planet are invertebrates, with more than 32,000 terrestrial and freshwater species in the UK. In line with Natural England’s guidelines, a minimum of four or five terrestrial and/or aquatic invertebrate surveys should be undertaken between April and September every year, with surveys spread out through this period to sample spring, summer and autumn species.
Survey methods include; sweep netting, aerial netting, beating tray, pan or water traps, suction sampling, flight interceptor, direct searching, light trapping and for aquatic surveys; net and kick sampling