Alien species

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IN YOUR recent report on the tree bumblebee’s expansion across the UK (4 June), the species was incorrectly labelled an “invading alien”. The tree bumblebee reached these islands under its own steam as part of a natural colonisation across Europe.

The term alien or non-native species should be applied to species that have been moved around the world by people and released – deliberately or accidentally – into areas outside their natural range. Such introductions are one of the primary drivers of global biodiversity loss and are a serious issue.

The tree bumblebee is now native to these islands and its successful colonisation of new areas should not be seen in the same light as those introduced directly by people.

James Silvey

Nature Recovery Officer

RSPB Scotland

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