Bern Convention Report

Invertebrates Group of Experts Meeting, May 2003

UK Report


BERN Species
Eight invertebrate species listed in the Bern Appendices occur in the UK, one of which Helix pomatia is an ancient introduction and has, until now, had no specific conservation action targeted at it. Recent concerns about commercial collecting for human consumption have led to the proposal that H. pomatia be protected by legislation.
Fourth Quinquennial Review of Schedules 5 & 8 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act, 1981

Every five years JNCC advises Government on which animals and plants should be legally protected by listing on Schedule 5 (animals) and Schedule 8 (plants) of the Wildlife and Countryside Act, 1981. In September 2002 JNCC recommended that three invertebrates should be added to Schedule 5:
Two burnet moths: Zygaena lonicerae subspecies jocelynae and Zygaena loti subspecies scotica should be given full protection which will prevent collection and sale of adults and early stages;
The Roman snail Helix pomatia should be given partial protection to prevent collection and sale; captive bred stocks would need sale licensing
Biodiversity: the UK Action Plan published in 1994 established the fundamental principles for future biodiversity conservation in the UK. These were:
Partnership - action involving the mutual co-operation of statutory, voluntary, academic and business sectors at both national and local levels.
Targets - the establishment of measurable outcomes that address the needs of species and habitat types of most concern to biodiversity conservation.
Policy Integration - recognise that shifts in policy are needed to reverse the decline in the UK biodiversity resource and to support sustainable development in all sectors of society.
Information - while sound science and knowledge should underpin decisions, recognise that new approaches are required to fill information gaps and understanding and to manage the information already available more efficiently.
Public Awareness- public understanding and action is needed to support the changes needed to maintain biodiversity.
A key element of the work under this programme has been the implementation of species and habitat action plans.
Species Action Plans have been prepared for 288 invertebrate species and 28 species statements prepared for those species about which little is currently known. A review of progress against targets was undertaken in 2002.
Translocation Policy Reviews
Three policy documents reviewing different aspects of biological translocations were published in 2003.
A Review of Non-native Species Policy prepared by the Department of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA).

A Policy for Conservation Translocations of Species in Britain and A Habitats Translocation Policy for Britain prepared by the Joint Nature Conservation Committee.
The National Biodiversity Network (NBN) continues to develop it's key areas of activity, standard setting, linking and using data and information.
Four elements of the NBN are outlined here:
The NBN Gateway is a web site that shows how multiple sources of biodiversity information can be accessed and used over the Internet. The site now contains over 10 million species records, as well as various sources of habitat records and the boundaries of the protected sites in the UK. Currently, the main areas of functionality are:
  • ten kilometre dot mapping;
  • interactive mapping;
  • show species recorded within protected sites;
  • search across selected biodiversity web sites for relevant information.


Recorder 2002: a biological recording software package
Recorder 2002 is designed to be a flexible tool. It offers a complete system from data capture through to reports, along with excellent mapping facilities. It is also designed to work in partnership with a variety of other packages from spreadsheets for data entry, to GIS packages for spatial analysis. It is compatible with a number of the data capture tools used by the recording community and can therefore collate records coming from many different sources.
This is an umbrella programme designed to house all taxon conservation status assessment work – it provides a mechanism to appraise, approve and publish conservation status. The programme works through a number of taxon specific expert groups, membership of which is be drawn from across the invertebrate conservation community. The programme:
  • assigns Red List status to species based on the 2001 IUCN criteria
  • determines species of conservation concern within the UK
  • keeps track of international conservation status
  • assigns native/non native status


The Biological Records Centre (BRC) based at the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology (Monks Wood) is co-funded by JNCC and the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC). Seven invertebrate distribution atlases have been published in the last two years:
  • Aculeate Hymenoptera (parts 3 & 4)
  • Provisional atlas of British hoverflies (Diptera, Syrphidae)
  • British spiders (Arachnida, Araneae), Volumes 1 & 2
  • Provisional atlas of the British aquatic bugs (Hemiptera, Heteroptera)
  • Provisional atlas of the Cantharoidea and Buprestoidea (Coleoptera) of Britain and Ireland


The Butterfly Monitoring Scheme (BMS) is co-funded by CEH and JNCC. It comprises over 120 sites where weekly transect counts of adult butterflies are made for 26 weeks per year. It was established in 1976 and has continued to develop in collaboration with NGO's and volunteers throughout the UK. The scheme aims to:
provide information at regional and national levels on changes in the abundance of individual species of butterfly and to detect trends which may indicate changes in their status;
  • provide a reliable long-term reference against which population changes of species studied on other sites or in other countries can be compared;
  • monitor changes at individual sites and, by comparison with results elsewhere, to assess the impact of local factors such as habitat change caused by management;
  • provide information on aspects of population ecology and phenology of individual species, both in relation to the effect of environmental changes (including climate change), and as a contribution to basic knowledge.
  • The BMS is keen to collaborate with schemes in other European countries to further develop butterfly monitoring at a European scale.

Joint Nature Conservation Committee, Monkstone House, City Road, Peterborough, PE1 1JY, UK.