New species found in Highland ‘lost world’

EXPERTS exploring a “lost world” near Loch Ness have discovered an array of unusual creatures never before recorded in the UK.

Latest surveys at the former shooting estate at Dundreggan found eight new species previously unseen north or south of the Border.

Seven insects, including a sawfly and an aphid, and a new kind of mite were identified on the 10,000-acre site during biodiversity research last year published today by Trees for Life.

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Nearly 3,000 plants and animals have now been confirmed at the estate in Glen Moriston, Inverness-shire since the charity began restoring Scotland’s iconic Caledonian forest in the region.

They include at least 67 priority species for conservation, leading to the area being dubbed the Highlands’ “lost world”.

Trees for Life executive director Alan Watson Featherstone said: “The surprisingly rich variety of life at Dundreggan highlights the vital importance of conservation work, and of protecting habitats across the Highlands. The discoveries are not only demonstrating that the estate is a special site for biological diversity, they are also revealing that there is still much to learn about Scotland’s biodiversity.”

He added: “There are probably a lot more species out there waiting to be discovered.”