Date published: 20 Jan 2016
Students on the FdSc Environmental Conservation and Heritage Management, and FdSc British Wildlife Conservation courses at the Royal Agricultural University (RAU) have been surveying woodland sites close to Cirencester in search of the nationally scarce Plumed Prominent moth (Ptilophora plumigera).
With the help of moth experts Peter Hugo of Butterfly Conservation, and Dave Grundy of DG Countryside, students assessed the ecological needs of the Plumed Prominent moth and explored the various methods of non-harmful trapping. Male moths are distinguishable by their very broad feathered antennae, used to detect females.
Students successfully caught a Plumed Prominent month, along with a number of other late season species. The sites surveyed included one that the students themselves actively manage.
The rare Plumed Prominent species was only re-discovered in Gloucestershire in recent years. Efforts are currently being made to better characterise its distribution.
The University offers a range of conservation foundation degrees in Environmental Conservation and Heritage Management, British Wildlife Conservation, and Archaeology and Historic Landscape Conservation. Students can then progress onto the BSc (Hons) Countryside Management top-up to further their studies.