Endangered beetle finds a new home

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A BEETLE that is extinct in Britain except for a stretch of the banks of a North Yorkshire river has found a new city centre home.

The Tansy Beetle, which can currently only be found on a 30km stretch of the banks of the River Ouse around York is being introduced to York Museum Gardens. 
The bright green beetle, used to be more widespread around the country, but factors including habitat loss have meant that has become endangered and is now restricted to this small part of Yorkshire.

To help increase awareness about the species, York Museums Trust have been working with the Tansy Beetle Action Group (TBAG), to create a suitable habitat for the beetles in the gardens.

Now the beds are ready to become a new home to the beetles and it is being introduced to the gardens this week in a move which it is hoped will help safeguard the beetle but also introduce the protected iridescent green species to more members of the public.

Isla Gladstone, curator of natural sciences, said yesterday: “We are really pleased to be able to introduce this beautiful but extremely rare species into the York Museum Gardens.
“With the beetle having a home right in the city centre it will not only increase the range of the beetle but also allow our visitors to York to learn more about this protected species,” she added.

The specially designed beds will feature Tansy Beetle friendly plants, such as Tansy plants, which the beetles feed on.

Staff at the museum and volunteers will be closely monitoring the beetles to see how they are adapting to their new home.

The Tansy Beetle is about 10mm in size and is most active on clumps of Tansy between April and May and August and September.

It is threatened because Tansy plants are now often only found in isolated clumps, which means the beetles can’t reach each other to breed.