Devon Special Species Categories

Devon is rich in wildlife and important for the conservation of many species. Among the tens of thousands of species that occur here, at least 1,600 are considered to be either threatened with extinction in the British Isles or are nationally rare or scarce. These 1600 species are known as Devon’s Priority Species and are on a ‘long list’.

In 2017, 96 of Devon’s Priority Species were identified as ones for which the county had a special responsibility for their national survival, known as the Devon Special Species. Unless we take action to look after these species and their habitats they are at risk of disappearing from Britain.

Below you can find a brief description of each of the special species and what is currently known about its status in Devon. The species descriptions have been updated by Robert Wolton in 2020, commissioned by the LNP and gratefully informed by a number of species experts across the county.

Accompanying maps have been produced by Devon Biodiversity Record Centre (DBRC) on behalf of the LNP, they are meant as an indication of historic presence, and are based on records from a number of sources. Whilst every effort has been made to reflect the known distribution of each species there will inevitably be a degree of error or omission. Many of these species remain under recorded, and systematic survey has not been carried out. There may be existing records not currently held by DBRC, or local knowledge not yet incorporated. If you have additional information relating to one or more of the species listed, please contact DBRC, and we will endeavour to update the maps.

If you have any additional comments regarding the special species or have a photo of a special species that you would like us to use please get in touch by contacting Katy Ross (LNP Intern).

Plants, Fungi and Lichen

Flowering Plants (18)

Fungi (4)

Lichen (8)

Mosses and Liverworts (2)



Sea Fans and Corals (2)

Sponges (2)

Crustaceans (2)

Molluscs (2)

Spiders and Harvestmen (4)

Dragonflies and damselflies (1)

Grasshoppers and crickets (1)

True bugs (1)

Butterflies (5)

Moths (9)

True Flies (9)

Beetles (7)

Bees, Wasps and Ants (9)


Fish (2)

Birds (4)

Mammals (4)