More fairy shrimps

Fairy Shrimp (Chirocephalus diaphanus). Photo: Jean-François Cart

I’ve received two more reports of Fairy Shrimps turning up, from pond enthusiasts Bev Wadge at Sussex Wildlife Trust and John Buckley at Amphibian and Reptile Conservation.

Bev has them in the Sussex Weald, near Chailey, and John in ponds close to spiritual the home of natural history, Selborne.

The latter is especially appropriate as the Earl of Selborne is Pond Conservation’s patron!

Any ponds with Fairy Shrimps are automatically classified as Priority Ponds under the UK Biodiversity Action Plan which means that everyone should be making special efforts to protect these sites – especially from water pollution and inappropriate management.

In this case ‘inappropriate management’ would include fish stocking or deepening which made the ponds permanent. Fairy shrimps are one of those creatures which depend on ponds that dry out and which cannot co-exist with fish.

Fairy Shrimps are protected on Schedule 5 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act which means it is an offence to disturb them in any way – including collecting them without license.

There are about 20 places where Fairy Shrimps are known in Britain with most being found on Salisbury Plain and in the New Forest.

Changing the subject slightly: Helen has some nice pics of recently emerging dragonflies and damselflies at Frog End.

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