narrow-headed ant

Budding bug-hunters around Dartington and Totnes are needed to help track one of the rarest ants in England by taking part in the Nest Quest Survey.

The narrow-headed ant can only be found at one site in South Devon and is on the verge of extinction.

Now insect charity Buglife is asking people to see if they can discover traces of possible nests including on the Dartington Estate.

Stephen Carroll said: “The aim is to establish new populations at two more sites in South Devon.

“We’ll work with communities, groups and individuals in all sorts of ways; from raising awareness about these rare and precious insects, to study projects to learn more about the ants, and creating more habitats for them.

Buglife has a number of Back from the Brink projects designed to save insects from total extinction.  By the end of this project the team hope to have secured the future for the narrow-headed ant and helped establish more colonies so that they can spread out.

“We aim to have inspired understanding and support for this mighty mini-beast,” said Mr Carroll.

The Nest Quest survey is looking for wood ant nests in Devon. Everyone can take part in the survey while visiting woods, heaths and moors, by recording nest sightings through the Buglife webpage.

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