Grasshoppers, slugs, spiders, bumblebees - all of these are invertebrates, or animals without backbones. They are an incredibly diverse group with over 39,000 recorded species in the UK alone. Invertebrates are an essential part of any ecosystem; pollinating flowers, providing food for other animals and eating pest species.
Fen habitats can support thousands of invertebrate species, particularly those associated with standing water. For example, at some fenland sites over half the UK species of dragonflies and damselflies can be found. Many invertebrates spend at least part of their life-cycle in water, and fen provides the perfect mix of habitats.
Woodwalton Fen is a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and National Nature Reserve (NNR), designated for its aquatic flora and fauna and rare terrestrial plants. The huge list of species includes 150 rare or endangered invertebrates with 23 dragonfly and damselfly species.
The newly restored areas of the Great Fen will provide perfect habitat for invertebrates and they are often one of the first groups to colonize newly restored areas.
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