Hovering on the edge of extinction: efforts to save the Pine Hoverfly
The Pine Hoverfly in Britain is in a precarious state: adults have not been recorded in the wild for a number of years, and populations have dwindled owing to changes in the Caledonian pinewoods – their sole refuge. In recent decades, however, a community of organisations and individuals has been working tirelessly to reverse the decline of this species through captive breeding and bespoke habitat management. Here, members of the Pine Hoverfly Steering Group describe efforts to secure the future of this icon of the Caledonian forest.
The Pine Hoverfly Blera fallax is one of Britain’s rarest insects, and one of relatively few non-lepidopteran invertebrates to have been subject to intensive and dedicated conservation effort. In Britain, the Pine Hoverfly is a denizen of ancient Caledonian pinewoods, mature native Scots Pine Pinus sylvestris providing the only habitat in which its highly specific life-history requirements can be met.