This action plan covers a number of closely-related, rare, endemic eyebrights, some of which may be under-recorded because of problems in identification. These species should be considered as a group until their individual distributions are better known and their taxonomic status verified. At present, the taxonomic status of E. rotundifolia is uncertain and some, or all, of the records may turn out to be a hybrid species. E. cambrica is easily confused with the more common E. ostenfeldii and records for this species need to be verified at a number of sites.
Habitats include damp, lowland heaths (E. vigursii and E. campbelliae), maritime heaths and grassland (E. cambrica, E. rivularis and E. rotundifolia), dune grass and salt marsh (E. heslop-harrisonii). Most British sites appear to have stable populations which are under no particular threat, although E. vigursii has been lost at a number of heathland sites inland in Cornwall as a result of habitat destruction and is now known to be seriously threatened. Populations for all species can vary greatly from year to year depending on conditions. These species are not found in Northern Ireland.
Current factors causing loss or decline
Loss of habitat, particularly inland heaths in Cornwall.
Lack of grazing.
SNH is supporting re-evaluation of the distribution of the endemic species in Scotland.
Action plan objectives and targets
Protect known populations until taxonomic status is clear.
Maintain populations of any endangered species.
Proposed actions with lead agencies
Policy and legislation
No action proposed.
Site safeguard and management
Encourage suitable habitat management at sites, including the maintenance or restoration of grazing for those species, where necessary. (ACTION: CCW, NE, SNH)
Consider notifying key sites for threatened species as SSSIs where this is necessary to secure appropriate management. (ACTION: CCW, SNH)
Species management and protection
No action proposed.
Ensure land owners and local voluntary conservation groups are aware of the presence and importance of conserving these species, and that advice on appropriate methods of habitat management is available. (ACTION: CCW, NE, SNH)
Future Research and Monitoring
Promote morphological and genetic investigations to clarify the taxonomy of these species. (ACTION: CCW, NE, RBG Kew and Edinburgh SNH)
Undertake a survey of all known, and former, sites to ascertain the distribution of the species. (ACTION: CCW, NE, SNH)
Encourage research to compare the taxonomy and ecology of these species with related species outside the UK and use the information and expertise towards the conservation of species within the UK. (ACTION: CCW, NE, JNCC, SNH)
Subject to confidentiality and data ownership, pass information gathered during survey and monitoring of this species to JNCC or BRC so that it can be incorporated in national databases. (ACTION: CCW, NE, SNH)
Provide information annually to the World Conservation Monitoring Centre on the UK status of the species to contribute to maintenance of an up-to-date global Red Data List. (ACTION: JNCC)
Communications and Publicity
Use these species to highlight the threat to UK biodiversity from the destruction of heathland and coastal habitats. (ACTION: CCW, NE, SNH)
Links with other action plans
Originally published in: Biodiversity: The UK Steering Group Report - Volume II: Action Plans (December 1995, Tranche 1, Vol 2, p183)
Visit the ARKive website to view images and further information relating to Euphrasia vigursii