Bumper year of wildlife discoveries

Forest Chafer at White Park Bay

Over two thousand records of wildlife, plantlife and fungi were made across the North Coast in 2015.

In 2015 the National Trust, in partnership with other wildlife conservation organisations, gathered over 22,000 plant and animal species records at wildlife BioBlitzes held at 24 coastal locations in Britain and Northern Ireland.

At the North Coast BioBlitz, held at White Park Bay, wildlife experts from all over Northern Ireland - most notably from CEDaR - worked closely with National Trust staff, students, volunteers and visitors to record as many species of plants, fungi, lichen, birds, spiders, beetles, butterflies and moths they could find in 24 hours. White Park Bay buzzed with the activity of experts sharing their knowledge and enthusiasm with visitors and participants.  

The final total of species records was 1168. One of the amazing finds from White Park Bay was a rare beetle, the Forest chafer, not seen alive in Ireland since 1915.

‘I always knew the habitats managed by the National Trust were of excellent quality,’ said Dr. Henry, reflecting on an unprecedented year of rare species finds. ‘The ranger team on the North Coast work very hard to try to keep all of the habitats in good condition for all of the important species that live here’.

Looking forward to 2016, Dr. Henry said he and his team on the North Coast are excited about what else will be unearthed in the local ecosystem, so naturally rich in biodiversity.

‘The discoveries in 2015 – particularly the Forest chafer – makes me think that there are more and possibly rarer still species lying in wait out there still to be discovered.’