A couple of wildlife highlights from Exmoor

When I was on Exmoor earlier in the week I encountered a couple of wildlife highlights

Frog spawn
Frog spawn in a created pool on the high moor – my first spot of the year – it may only be February but we are inexorably heading towards spring

Lobaria virens
This is the lichen Lobaria virens – it is one of the species of of lungworts found in Britain. It is a rare and special organism. Lungworts need very pure air in which to grow – they also need an Atlantic climate and flourish in shady, damp places in upland woodlands on the western side of Britain. I photographed this specimen in Horner Woods – a fantastic woodland near Porlock.

This is the distribution map of Lobaria virens produced by the British Lichen Society – see here for more details. The red dots represent records of the lichen since 2000, blue dots records from 1960-1999 and the yellow dots are pre 1960 records. As you can see if it very rare and declining but Exmoor and Dartmoor are important strongholds for it.

One thought on “A couple of wildlife highlights from Exmoor

  1. Saw my first frogspawn of the year today too in a local park – think I saw that lichen or one like it a few years ago on Dartmoor, remember being told it was a rare species.

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