National History Museum To Study Scilly’s Wildlife

porthloo viewA team of scientists from the National History Museum will spend much of the summer in Scilly to record the plant and insect life of the islands.

Senior Curator, Mark Spencer, told Radio Scilly that the range of plant and insect life on the islands can, “tick a lot of boxes” because of the amount of material found in one place.

Mark describes Scilly is a biological crossroads. The scientists hope to collect representative specimens that will serve as a definitive Scilly collection for the next 200 years.

But the team will be recording ordinary insects, including beetles, and not just the more exotic or unusual.

They’ll be taking samples of dead species as Mark says you need the “real object” in your hands for study.

Some of the work will assess the impact of climate change on wildlife.

The research party of up to 28 people will be here in May and August. They’ll be bringing over a van equipped with satellite technology so they can beam back video images and interviews to big screens at the museum in London.

The broadcasts will feature question and answer sessions with the experts on the islands and will be similar to the BBC Springwatch programmes.

They will also be available to view live on the internet.

Mark says they’ll work closely with the Isles of Scilly Wildlife Trust when they are here and also hope to host some guided walks with experts and work with the Five Islands School.