Journal Of Insect Conservation

, Volume 8, Issue 2–3, pp 137–148 | Cite as

Conserving the New Forest burnet moth (Zygaena viciae ([Denis and Schiffermueller])) in Scotland; responses to grazing reduction and consequent vegetation changes

  • Mark R. Young
  • David A. Barbour


Zygaena viciae, the New Forest burnet moth, has only one population in Britain, in western Scotland. Here it was discovered in1963 and its population sustained itself, before declining seriously from 1980 to 1990. A survey in 1990 discovered at most 20 adult moths and it was clear that the site had become seriously over-grazed. A fence was erected to exclude sheep, with variable success until 1996, since when it has remained effective. Vegetation speedily changed from 1990 onwards, including re-establishment and spread of the main larval foodplant, Lathyrus pratensis. The moth population remained low until 1997, since which time it has dramatically increased, reaching an estimated 8500–10,200 in 2003. However, with only one site the moth remains threatened and establishment on new sites is now a priority.


Conservation Overgrazing Zygaena viciae Zygaenidae 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Culterty Field StationUniversity of AberdeenScotland
  2. 2.125a High StreetScotland

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