Presentation on theme: "Lundy – 40 years of marine conservation by Keith Hiscock for The Taw and Exmoor branch of the British Naturalists' Association 25 th February 2011."— Presentation transcript:
Lundy – 40 years of marine conservation by Keith Hiscock for The Taw and Exmoor branch of the British Naturalists' Association 25 th February 2011
Lundy – 40 years of marine conservation Historical perspectives: early marine studies 1980s and 1990s: Monitoring, more research, the statutory marine nature reserve The past 10 years: - the No-Take Zone; - more surveys and monitoring; - becoming a ‘Marine Conservation Zone’ 1960s: Diving and the beginnings of conservation 1970s:The voluntary marine nature reserve, research, training and just enjoying the marine life 1971: The proposal for a voluntary marine reserve Break
Historical perspective (pre 1970’s) Another naturalist, G. Tugwell returned from Lundy shores in 1851 "laden with all imaginable and unimaginable spoils”. The earliest recorded marine biological studies near to Lundy are noted in the work of Forbes (1851) who took dredge samples off the east coast of the island in 1848. The first descriptions of the seashore wildlife on Lundy are those published in 1853 by the foremost Victorian marine naturalist and writer, P.H. Gosse. Each summer between 1934 to 1937, G.F. Tregelles visited Lundy to collect seaweeds. The first systematic studies of marine ecology at Lundy were undertaken by Professor L.A. Harvey and Mrs C.C. Harvey together with students of Exeter University in the late 1940's and early 1950's. Rev. Charles Kingsley records (in Glaucus: the wonders of the shore, 1890) finding the scarlet and gold coral at Lundy.
In 1969, the first suggestions were made that Lundy could be a marine reserve My first dives on Lundy in August 1969 – fabulous marine life and the ‘icing on the cake’ – finding the sunset cup coral, first record for Britain. Photograph taken on 4 th August 1969 At the end of September 1969, following the dedication service celebrating the purchase of the island by the National Trust, John Smith of the Landmark Trust was approached about the possibility of a reserve.
Publicity for the marine reserve proposal In December 1969, Heather Booker (Then Heather Machin) published an article “Conservation in the sea” in the Journal of the Devon Trust for Nature Conservation that specifically suggested Lundy as a possible reserve. Image: David Harvey
There were several other folks involved in the early days: Ron Machin, Scientific Officer of the Ilfracombe & North Devon Sub-Aqua Club John Lamerton, Assistant Regional Officer, Nature Conservancy Image: David Harvey
Formal consultations for a voluntary marine nature reserve started in February 1971 Nature magazine 28 th May 1971 North Devon Journal Herald 1 st April 1971 Daily Telegraph 21 st March 1971 Express & Echo 25 th March 1971
Lundy Voluntary Marine Nature Reserve: established (by agreement of the management policy) in 1972 See: Hiscock, K., Grainger, I.G., Lamerton, J.F., Dawkins, H.C. & Langham, A.F. 1973. A policy for the management of the shore and seabed around Lundy. Report of the Lundy Field Society for 1972, 23, 39 ‑ 45.
So, what was all of the fuss about? In the late 1960’s and early 1970’s, concerns were mainly about divers taking souvenirs – many dried sea fans and sea urchins left the island in tea chests destined to be sold as curios and the population of crawfish was also being decimated by divers and by tangle netting. And, Lundy has fabulous marine life:
Established richness of the rocky shores – from the words of George Tugwell in 1851, who returned from Lundy “laden with all imaginable and unimaginable spoils”
The greatest variety of marine algae (307+ species) of any one locality in the British Isles
A very high diversity of reef habitats (e.g. 30 different habitats – as level 4 biotopes described by drop-down video - compared with a more usual <15 for such areas).
The marine fauna shows great diversity – 753 taxa listed. With the algae, Lundy has one eighth of the recorded multicellular marine species in the British Isles.
Knoll Pins, 1986 Colourful marine fauna including rare and scarce species
Caryophyllia smithii Leptopsammia pruvoti Caryophyllia inornata Hoplangia durotrix Balanophyllia regia 05 cm All of the British shallow water corals Image courtesy of Robert Irving
Rich communities in the undisturbed sediments off the east coast
Cuckoo wrasse, Labrus mixtus Rich fish populations
Abundances of lobsters ANOVA tests: Year x NTZ vs Control: Non significant (F 3,3 = 0.19, P = 0.89) Year x NTZ vs Reference: Non significant (F 3,3 = 5.25, P = 0.10) NearFar
A next question to address is “what impact, if any, has the increased lobster population had on other benthic species?” The numbers of Necora puber being caught in traps has fallen since lobster numbers have risen – is there a link? 27