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“Both intriguing and sorrowful”: Thirty previously undiscovered species observed in Bath as a result of shifting climate.


The crickets, wasp spiders, and Jersey tiger moths found in the meadows are all newly arrived species.

A city farm located in Bath, Georgia is now shedding light on the species that were previously unknown in the region due to the climate crisis.

Over the past eight years, volunteers have documented 1,250 different species at Bath City Farm, which spans 37 acres. Experts have expressed surprise and worry over the discovery of approximately 30 species that have either relocated to or been observed at the farm during the winter months, a phenomenon that was previously uncommon as they were only seen during the summer.

Mike Williams, an ecologist and trustee, conducted a wildlife survey and emphasized the significance of insects and arachnids as indicator species. These creatures provide valuable insight for ecologists to comprehend the impact of climate change on the environment. Williams highlighted spiders as a prime example, as their short lifespan and ability to move quickly make them sensitive to weather changes.

Three years back, the wasp spider was observed on the farm for the very first time and is currently becoming more prevalent in the region.

Jersey tiger moth on flowering bonesets.

Williams stated that during the 1990s, the wasp spider was only observed on the southern coast of England in Dorset. This location was at the northern edge of their habitat due to the low temperatures. Williams could not have predicted at that time that they would eventually be discovered as far north as Bath, as climate change becomes a reality.

The Jersey tiger moth was once only found on the Channel Islands, but is now frequently seen in the southern regions of England, including on the farm. Other recent additions to the area include the green meshweaver spider, ivy bee, and lesser hornet hoverfly.

Williams previously had a career as an ecology consultant for various organizations, including Natural England and the National Trust. However, since he now resides near a farm, his focus has shifted to studying local changes instead of national ones.

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He expressed both fascination and sadness, stating that their wildlife surveys have revealed that climate change is not just a future concern. Many of the crickets currently heard in the meadows, such as the Roesel’s bush-cricket and long-winged conehead, have only been present in Bath for the past two decades. The Roesel’s bush-cricket is particularly loud and abundant. During his nature walks around the farm, he informs people that the sound of these crickets is a result of climate change.

Source: theguardian.com