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Moth Recording at Rutland Falconry and Owl Centre
It is not just the bird species that benefit from the varied habitats that make up the Owl Centre – there is also a wide variety of entomological interest.
This variety has been displayed by a number of moth trapping sessions which have been carried out on the woodland trails over the summer.
Three moth traps were used in each instance. The traps basically consist of: A wooden box with sloping, internal baffles made of perspex and a mercury vapour bulb powered by a small generator.
The bright light given off by the bulbs draws in the moths and other insects which are quickly trapped beneath the baffles – this is harmless to the insects but enables us to get a close look at the myriad of insect life within a habitat.
From the list of different moth species listed on the Wildlife page it may be deduced that the Owl Centre is quite rich in insect life, most probably due to the diverse nature of the flora at the centre.
Click here for pictures and lists of species recorded
Moth trapping if carried out in a responsible manner can be an extremely useful tool in teaching base level entomology and illustrating the delicate balance of an ecosystem. The different species caught take up different niches within the foodchain and in turn ensure the survival of different bird species – so the breeding success of bird species illustrated earlier in the document such as the successes in Great, Coal, Blue and Marsh Tits is directly related to the results of the moth survey.
Bats too depend on insects for their food stuff and therefore survival so correlations in patterns could be drawn if conservation surveys were carried out on a wide spectrum of species.
This point brings us onto the possibilities in education at Rutland Falconry and Owl Centre.
As a centre for education in conservation and biodiversity the centre already has the makings of a potential educational asset with nestbox schemes in place and the possibilities for further conservation projects on site which may appeal to all age groups.