Catepillar pooOn Tuesday the 12th July, a team of ten staff members and volunteers from Colchester Zoo helped to survey for signs of the Fisher’s Estuarine Moth at the Essex Wildlife Trust’s Abbotts Hall Farm.

The condition of the caterpillars’ food plant, Hog’s Fennel, was recorded throughout the planted site, and evidence of the caterpillars’ presence was determined by searching for signs of larval feeding by looking for frass volcanoes or piles of caterpillar poo!

Eggs from the Fisher’s Estuarine Moth were first released onto the site from Colchester Zoo’s breeding programme in 2010. Across the plots surveyed, 45% of Hog’s Fennel plants supported signs, which is fantastic news and shows that the moth is doing well on this newly created site; a vital step in helping to secure its future.

Throughout the summer, the Colchester Zoo team will help Natural England and Tendring District Council to survey additional sites in order to establish how well the moth is doing in other newly created areas of Hog’s Fennel across Essex.

Find out more about the Essex Wildlife trust and this project on their Facebook page.

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