Not bog stan­dard

Lancashire Life - - WALK -

A sur­vey is un­lock­ing the se­crets of the bog bush cricket

fol­low­ing their dis­cov­ery on Lit­tle Woolden Moss. Lan­cashire Wildlife Trust’s ELLIE SHERLOCK joins the search

Bat de­tec­tors are nor­mally used to lis­ten out for bats but, on Lit­tle Woolden Moss in Sal­ford, Andy Hank­in­son is us­ing them to de­tect the “chuff­ing” sounds made dur­ing courtship by rare bog bush crick­ets.

Lit­tle Woolden Moss is a site of par­tic­u­lar in­ter­est in this investigat­ion. It is part of the much larger area of low­land raised peat bogs that once cov­ered much of the north west, known as Chat Moss. In more

re­cent times how­ever, it has seen mas­sive degra­da­tion due to in­dus­trial peat ex­trac­tion and in­ten­sive drainage.

Large-scale restora­tion work un­der­taken by The Lan­cashire Wildlife Trust is trans­form­ing Lit­tle Woolden Moss, which is an im­por­tant habi­tat for many species in­clud­ing the common lizard, black darter drag­on­flies and brown hares. Among the works are plans to reveg­e­tate a large area of the moss with more than 10,000 plants, in­clud­ing heather and cross-leaved heath – two species that bog bush crick­ets are re­liant on for sur­vival.

The bat de­tec­tor tech­nique will al­low this and other sites to be sur­veyed more reg­u­larly and ac­cu­rately so the im­pacts of the restora­tion work can be bet­ter assessed. Us­ing bat de­tec­tors to sur­vey grasshop­pers and crick­ets has proved successful in previous stud­ies but this is still a rel­a­tively new method of sam­pling for these species. Landscapes can be ex­plored in a new way

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