SlugWatch – a new citizen science project for Lab_13ers!

You might remember a little while ago we told you about “Spider in Da House” a citizen science project that we could all take part in.

Now it’s time for slugs –  SlugWatch! There is a big problem in the east of England with a Spanish Slug infestation. We must help to report any slugs we spot sliding around.

“In the early spring of 2012 a new species of slug, Arion vulgaris, commonly known as the Spanish Slug, was identified in the UK for the first time, by Dr Ian Bedford. He noticed an unusually high number of slugs in his garden in spring 2012 and noticed they were not just eating plants but other things too such as dog poo and dead animals. After some research and collaboration with the University of Aberdeen, it was discovered it was an ‘invasion’ of the Spanish Slug and it is thought that the slugs entered the UK on imported salad leaves, bare root trees or potted plants.

The Spanish Slug varies in colour from between bright orange and reddish brown and can grow to a size between 8cm and 15cm when they have reached maturity. Over recent years the Spanish Slug has been known to spread into parts of Northern Europe and caused severe crop failure in Scandinavia, there were even instances where slugs had been eating road kill and making the roads slippery.”

We can help these scientists by reporting all the different types of slugs we find in our gardens and around school. This will help them to learn abut how far the Spanish slug has spread in England and how it has adapted to life in our climate. We love these Slug Trumps cards too! 

About lab13network

Lab_13 is a space in a school managed by pupils for pupils to conduct their own research and experiments driven by their curiosity, imagination and enthusiasm, and under the watchful supervision of a Scientist in Residence (not a teacher!!).
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