|Netted Carpet Moth. (Eustroma reticulatum)
Farming aids Moth's survival:
One of the rarest moths in Britain has been
saved by a
herd of cows,
The strikingly patterned Netted Carpet Moth was in danger of dying out
because the Touch-me-not
Balsam, (Impatiens noli-tangere)
upon which it relies could not grow in intensively farmed fields.
But, the reintroduction of traditional breeds to the Lake
District, where the moth is found, allowed the plants to grow again and
in turn the moth flourished.
The cows help the Touch-me-not Balsam to grow by eating the other
plants in competition with it, and by trampling and fertilising
ground so seeds can germinate.
The Netted Carpet Moth was first recorded in Britain in 1856 at
woodland near Windermere, in Cumbria. Since then it has been found at
only a handful of sites in the lake District and North Wales.
Conservationists were so concerned about the future of the moth that a
15 year study was set up by the National Trust, the University of
Reading and Butterfly Conservation.