Falkirk East MSP, Angus MacDonald is adding his name to the list of Scottish Parliamentarians who are signing up to be a Wildlife Species Champion.


At an event in The Scottish Parliament today (Thursday 24 January)

MSPs are being invited to become a champion for a rare species in Scotland. Willing MSPs will promote the welfare of their chosen species with a view to protecting them and their habitat for future generations.


This event follows on from the Wildlife Proclamation which aimed to raise the profile of nature conservation amongst MSPs and to identify potential wildlife champions that can work to make Scotland a better place for wildlife.


Having signed the Wildlife Proclamation, Mr MacDonald has also agreed to become the species champion for the Bog sun-jumper spider (Heliophanus dampfi) and Eelgrasses (Zostera species). The Bog sun jumper is a small spider, 3mm long with green, iridescent palps (limbs at the front of its body) and is a specialist of raised bogs where it is found at the base of grassy tussocks.


It is known to live at Letham Moss, one of only just 5 sites in Central Scotland all of which are fragments of what was a huge and well-connected bog network in central Scotland.


Eelgrasses species are amongst the very few flowering plants that live in seawater. Two species grow around Scotland.  Common eelgrass (Zostera marina) forms dense beds, with trailing leaves up to 1m long, in sheltered bays, estuaries and saline lagoons from the lower shore to about 5 m depth, typically on sand and sandy mud. Dwarf eelgrass (Zostera noltii) forms dense beds, with leaves up to 20 cm long, typically on the mid and upper shore in muddy sand or sandy mud on wave-sheltered coasts.

There are records of eelgrass beds in the inner forth estuary with a known site in Carriden Bay off Bo’ness.  Scotland holds around 20% of the seagrass beds of north-west Europe.


Commenting on the event, Mr MacDonald said:


“Signing up to be a Wildlife Species Champion is Parliament is not just about drawing attention to endangered species. I have made a commitment to promote the welfare of these species whenever possible in debate and legislation.


“Scotland is home to many unique and beautiful plants and animals. If we don’t make attempts to protect them now then they die out - this would be a unforgiveable loss to the environment and our enjoyment of Scottish countryside.”


Copyright © Angus MacDonald MSP 2017

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