Ecosystem services

Ecosystem services are the numerous and diverse benefits that people openly benefit from the natural surroundings and also from properly-functioning ecosystems. Such ecosystems contain, by way of instance, agroecosystems, forest ecosystems, grassland ecosystems and aquatic ecosystems. These ecosystems working properly supplies such matters such as agricultural produce, lumber, and aquatic organisms including fishes and fishes. Together, these advantages have become called'ecosystem services', and are frequently essential to the provisioning of fresh drinking water, the decomposition of wastes, as well as also the natural pollination of plants and other crops. Supporting services comprise services like nutrient cycling, primary production, soil formation, habitat supply and pollination.

Habitat Conservation

Habitat conservation for wild species is among the most crucial problems facing the environment today - both in the sea and on land. As human populations increase, land usage grows, and wild species have smaller distances to call house. Over fifty percent of all Earth's terrestrial surface was changed because of human activity, leading to extreme deforestation, erosion and loss of topsoil, biodiversity loss, and even extinction. Species can't survive out their normal habitat with no human intervention, like the habitats within a zoo or aquarium, such as. Maintaining habitats is vital to maintaining biodiversity. Migratory species are especially vulnerable to habitat destruction since they have a tendency to occupy more than a natural habitat. Changing a natural habitat slightly may bring about a domino effect that hurts the whole ecosystem.

Supporting services

While scientists and environmentalists have discussed ecosystem solutions implicitly for a long time, the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (MA) from the early 2000s popularized this idea. Additionally, ecosystem services are grouped into four broad classes:
Supporting services

like the creation of water and food

Supporting services

like the control of disease and climate

Supporting services

including nutrient cycles and oxygen generation

Supporting services

such as recreational and spiritual advantages

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Britain’s largest and most endangered spider species rediscovered

It's the kind of Halloween story that naturalists will love! Great Fox-Spiders have been rediscovered after more than 25 years without a UK sighting.

The post Britain’s largest and most endangered spider species rediscovered appeared first on Kate on Conservation.

It's the kind of Halloween story that naturalists will love! Great Fox-Spiders have been rediscovered after more than 25 years without a UK sighting.

The post Britain’s largest and most endangered spider species rediscovered appeared first on Kate on Conservation.

It’s the kind of Halloween story that naturalists will love! Surrey Wildlife Trust has rediscovered Great Fox-Spiders after more than 25 years without a UK sighting.

The ground dwelling and largely nocturnal Great Fox-Spider was found to be living on a Ministry of Defence (MOD) training area in Surrey.

The Great Fox-Spider is Red-listed as ‘Critically Endangered’ and was feared extinct in the UK, as it had only ever been found at three sites — two in Dorset and the other in Surrey — but hadn’t been seen since the early 1990s.

Mike Waite, spider enthusiast at Surrey Wildlife Trust, had never given up hope that he might find the monster spider.

Mike Waite discovered the population

“I am naturally over-the-moon to have finally proved the continued existence of the Great Fox-Spider in the UK. The spider is at the very edge of its range in the UK, which accounts for its super rarity here,” he explained.

Over the last two years, Mike spent many hours of late night searching with a torch before finally discovering several mature males and one female Great Fox-Spider on MOD land managed by the Amphibian and Reptile Conservation Trust.

The female Great Fox-Spider was 55mm or just over two inches in diameter including its hairy, spiny legs.

“This formidable-looking creature is an impressive beast,” Mike added. “Perfectly camouflaged and also largely nocturnal, and for all its size it has been remarkably elusive.”

About the Great Fox-Spider

With excellent eyesight, camouflage and speed, the Great Fox-Spider Alopecosa fabrilis is one of the largest of the Wolf-Spider Lycosidae family of spiders.

Photo Credit: Mike Waite

An opportunistic predator which hunts at night, it is named for its wolf-like habit of chasing down its prey, across sandy terrain, over gravel and rocks before pouncing and capturing insects on the run.

Great Fox-Spiders immobilize their prey, including insects such as beetles, ants and smaller spiders, by injecting them with venom, which liquifies the internal organs of the insect.

The spider is then ready to feast on its catch using its strong, fang-bearing front appendages called chelicerae.

Characteristics of the Great Fox-Spider

Not only incredibly agile and fast running, Great Fox-Spiders have excellent eyesight with wrap-around vision provided by eight black eyes on its head, or cephalothorax.

Two large eyes glint from the top of the head; two large eyes stare out the front; and four smaller eyes form a row just above the spider’s mouth.

Photo Credit: Mike Waite

For shelter the Great Fox-Spiders dig burrows or holes under rocks and logs and make a silk-lined burrow as a retreat for the winter.

Nick Baker, Naturalist, TV Presenter & president of the British Arachnological Society, said: “The prefix ‘Great’ doesn’t seem to do it justice, maybe it should be the Fabulous, or Fantastic Fox-Spider.”

“Even if the back story of its rarity and its rediscovery wasn’t taken into count, this spider is mega. It’s about as handsome as a spider gets, it’s big and now it’s officially a member of the British fauna again.”

“The rediscovery of the Great Fox-Spider is indeed the most exciting thing to happen in wildlife circles for quite some time.”

Mike Waite now plans to continue his study to gauge the size of the population.

For further information or to support Surrey Wildlife Trust visit

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Learn more about The Wildlife Trusts

  • Sir David Attenborough and Stephen Fry feature in Wildlife Trusts’ Wind in the Willows ‘trailer’
  • National Badger Day: Betrayal in the British countryside
  • HS2 and the UK’s post-lockdown challenges
  • GOOD NEWS! Beavers can stay in their Devon home
  • Bringing British wildlife to schoolchildren: badgers, foxes and 30 Days Wild

The post Britain’s largest and most endangered spider species rediscovered appeared first on Kate on Conservation.

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