MSP raises awareness of rare jumping spider

Angus macdonald msp hoovering rare bog spiders (c) craig macadam

​MSP Angus Macdonald joins a team of conservationists to spot a rare jumping spider near Stirling

24th August 2017 by Georgina Harris 0 Comments

MSP Angus Macdonald recently joined various nature conservationists to help find the rare bog sun-jumper spider near Stirling.

The team included staff and volunteers from Buglife Scotland, Butterfly Conservation Scotland and the Inner Forth Landscape Initiative (IFLI).

The bog sun-jumper spider can only be found on a few bogs near Stirling and one in Wales, as it has evolved to live in wet, acidic conditions and can’t survive anywhere else.

Bog sun-jumping spider

Bog sun-jumping spider

The spider is tiny and the best way of finding it is to use a modified leaf-blower to hoover the bog.

Over 80% of lowland raised bogs in Scotland have been damaged or destroyed in the last 200 years as a result of drainage for various agricultural reasons. This has caused many species such as this spider to lose their habitat.

It also has a severe environmental impact as damaged bogs produce large amounts of greenhouse gases.

Angus Macdonald commented: “I was delighted to take part in the survey at Wester Moss, and join the hunt for the bog sun-jumper spider. We must do all that we can to protect their environment.

“As species champion for the bog sun-jumper spider I will to continue to raise the plight of this little beauty at every opportunity.”

Buglife Scotland conservation officer Dr Scott Shanks said: “Many thanks to Angus for all his work in the Scottish Parliament helping to raise awareness of the importance of Scotland’s peatlands for wildlife, flood-prevention and carbon storage.”

The survey was part of a series of free events in IFLI’s Forth Nature Counts project. The IFLI team also wants to encourage people to record their own wildlife sightings via an online form