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North Merseyside Biodiversity Action Plan
Northern Dune Tiger Beetle Cicindela hybrida
1. Current Status
1.1.1 Modern and historic British records for this conspicuous and photogenic insect are restricted to coastal sand dunes in North West England. It is no longer found at Wallasey (Merseyside), Carnforth (Lancashire), Walney Island and (probably) Eskmeals (Cumbria). Current records are within four, ten kilometre National Grid squares, and are from Drigg (Cumbria) and a 15-kilometre stretch of the Sefton Coast (Merseyside), This species is found throughout Europe, except the extreme north, and is not restricted to the coast. British populations are isolated and at the extreme north-west of the species’ range.
1.1.2 Northern Dune Tiger Beetle is confined to bare sandy areas between the fore and mobile, Marram Ammophila arenaria covered dunes, close to the shore, and to partly re-vegetated ‘blow-outs’ and eroded areas inland, on fixed dunes. It is more peripheral in its distribution at Drigg, and only occurs in bare sandy areas amongst Marram and sedge on the edge of the sea and river estuaries.
1.1.3 In Great Britain this species is now classified as Vulnerable and is a priority species in the UK Biodiversity Action Plan (BAP).
1.2.1 Northern Dune Tiger Beetle is extensively found along a 15 kilometre stretch of the Sefton Coast which is estimated to support up to 75% of the species’ British population. It was recorded from 105, separate 100 metre squares, on the Sefton Coast during a 1999 – 2003 survey. The species is almost continuously recorded between Birkdale in the north and Hightown in the south. The most southerly record for the species is from Hall Road Crosby.
1.2.2 Most records are from mobile fore dunes. However, the species also occurs along sandy tracks and on fixed dunes, particularly at Ainsdale NNR and Formby, in ‘blow-outs’ and wherever there is extensive open sand. There are even records from sandy clearings in the pine plantations.