UK landowners and conservationists welcome wider-spread use of Gene Conservation Units (GCUs) to help protect some of the rarest plants and insects, research at the University of York has shown.
In particular the Great Yellow Bumblebee and the Mountain Ringlet Butterfly, which are at risk of further population decline, would benefit from the Units, currently only employed for forest trees.
Genetic diversity in these species is essential if they are to adapt to new, and often challenging, environmental conditions. Gene Conservation Units are areas of land managed to allow the recovery of species, and maintain evolutionary processes to enable them to adapt to environmental change. MORE
Header image: the great yellow bumblebee. Credit: ©Lorne Gill/NatureScot.