Back in April last year, I wrote about efforts and progress in documenting the biodiversity at South Milton Ley. This partnership working continues, with many gaps still to fill, but has confirmed the presence of hundreds of species of flies, moths, beetles, fish, reptiles, mammals and, of course, birds many either threatened or of conservation concern. It has also significantly increased the number and scope of individuals and organisations likely to spring to the reserve’s defence if the habitat were threatened in the future.
There have been a few small gains since last April but mainly as additions to groups that were already well studied. Yesterday I photographed a fungus growing on the trunk of a small, dead Elm. With the aid of Google, I was able to make an educated guess as Dryad’s Saddle, Cerioporus squamosus. This was subsequently confirmed on Twitter by Dr. Richard Broughton, an ecologist at the UK Centre for Ecology & Hydrology. This brings the fungal species list for the reserve up to the grand total of three!
The only other fungal species I have identified are Blushing Bracket, Daedaleopsis confragosa and Stump Puffball, Lycoperdon pyriforme. So, if there’s anyone out there from south Devon with an interest in mycology, who’d be prepared to have a look around the 18.2 hectares of the reserve, please get in touch. In reality, most of the reserve is reedbed so I would expect that the much smaller areas of damp woodland around the margins would be the most productive.
On a similar note, we currently have no information on lichens or mosses within the reserve and, on the zoological side, non of the invertebrate phyla, apart from Arthropods, have been studied. If you, or anyone you know could help with these (or other, even-more specialised areas of biodiversity) get in touch and you’ll be welcomed with open arms.