Natural England Species Recovery Programme

Protecting the rare crystal moss animal

The Lincolnshire Chalk Streams Project has been awarded funding by Natural England to help protect a tiny aquatic animal which is currently endangered.

The project aims to identify the ecological requirements of this bryozoan species in order to support the successful translocation of colonies of statoblasts from a Blow Well donor site to establish new populations at equally suitable Blow Well receptor sites.

There are about 37 known blow wells between Louth and Barton upon Humber.

What is a crystal moss animal?

The rare crystal moss animal (Lophopus crystallinus)  is an invertebrate which has seen a decline in the UK due to loss of habitats.

It is one of 11 species of bryozoa found in the UK and has been recorded at a blow well – a habitat only found in North and North East Lincolnshire.

Bryozoans are tiny, filter feeding marine animals which in their adult form are immobile, living glued to the sides of boulders, rocks or other surfaces.

About the funding

“Little is known as to why the crystal moss is only found in one of greater Lincolnshire’s blow well sites.

“We are delighted to support this project to gain understanding and boost the long term prospects of this internationally important species.”

David Amuzu

Natural England in Yorkshire and North Lincolnshire

This programme is one of 63 schemes across England to be awarded a share of £14.5m through Natural England’s Species Recovery Programme.

The overall pot of money from Natural England is going towards breeding programmes and improving habitats for a number of different species.