Devon Special Species

In 2017 Devon County Council, Devon Biodiversity Records Centre (DBRC) and Devon species experts (see below) formed a Devon Species Steering Group and began work on an update of the Devon Biodiversity Action Plan’s priority species lists. This work has resulted in a long list of¬†1,600 species known to be rare in Devon and a short list of 96 species for which Devon has a particular responsibility for their UK survival.

The purpose of the Special Species list is to highlight those species, whether plant, animal or fungus, which deserve particular conservation effort in Devon. The intention is not to take resources away from existing conservation programmes, nor to develop a new list of species to be protected under law. Rather it is to ensure that the needs of the full range of species for which Devon is particularly important are addressed by the wider conservation community, especially those involved in development control and in land management. New approaches are likely to be necessary and new resources found. Publicity, education and direct land or sea management or protection will be the key to ensuring the future of the species concerned.

Action will be dependent on members of the Natural Devon partnership working individually or in partnership, as appropriate. Together we can secure the future of these species in the county and may, by doing, so ensure they survive within the British Isles.

To find out more about the Devon’s Special Species, or to see what is included on the long list follow the links below.


Long list (Devon Priority Species)

See the long list in full and find out more about how this list was put together on the Devon Biodiversity Record Centre (DBRC) website.


Short list (Devon Special Species)

Find out more about each of the special species by looking through their pen picture and draft indicative distribution map of each Devon Special Species.

See an overview of the 96 species and find out more about how this list was put together.

Look through a 2020 update as to the status of these Special Species updated by Robert Wolton commissioned by the LNP and assisted by a number of species experts.


Background information about both lists

Learn more about the history of how the lists formed and why certain species were selected.


Devon Special Species Launch event

Look back at the fantastic talks from the event launch that was held in 2018 including how to love flies, species that are back from the brink and incredible rare plants. There is also the option to watch videos of the talks given on the day.


Please share species stories and ideas on social media using #DevonSpecialSpecies  @Devon_LNP

HUGE thanks to the following (* indicates a Devon Species Steering Group member):

*Andrew Whitehouse (invertebrates), Andy Byfield (flowering plants), Barbara Benfield (lichens), *Barry Henwood (moths and butterflies), *Bob Heckford (moths), *Dave Smallshire (dragonflies and damselflies), David Farley (fungi), Fiona Mathews (mammals), Gavin Bloomfield (birds), Helene Jessop (birds), *Jeremy Ison (flowering plants), *John Walters (beetles, bees and wasps & LOGO), Keith Alexander (true bugs, beetles and fungi), Keith Hiscock (marine life), *Kevin Rylands (birds), Martin Drake (true flies), Martin Luff (beetles), Matt Prince (spiders and harvestmen), Michel Hughes (non-marine molluscs), Mike Holland (fish), Patrick Saunders (bees and wasps), Richard Fox (moths and butterflies), *Robert Wolton (true flies), Roger Bristow (butterflies), *Stephen Carroll (bees, wasps and ants), *Ellie Knott (DBRC), Tom Whitlock (DCC), Max Anderson (DCC), *Pete Burgess (DWT), *Matt Cowley (EAD), Ian Egerton (DBRC), *Richard Knott (DNPA) and *Sarah Jennings (DCC and Chair/Project Lead).

Contact: Sarah.Jennings@devon.gov.uk