Along came a spider conservation program…

It's easy to pay attention to the spiders around you when their webs are this obvious!

It’s easy to pay attention to the spiders around you when their webs are this obvious!

In my previous post I said I was going to look into ways to get involved in spider conservation- I’ve done that, and there are definitely ways to get involved, but not in the same numbers that I usually see with other conservation topics. My guess is that spider conservation is both relatively new and working against generally negative public attitudes toward spiders.

So what can you do to get involved? How up close and personal do you want to get?
• Perhaps you’d prefer to keep them at a distance? You can donate to support Ladybird spider conservation in the UK or to support black purse-web spiders in Canada

• Looking to better recognize the spiders in your garden and give them a place to live?o There are a number of on-line resources for spider identification, including for spiders in southern Africa, the US Midwest, and Europe, just to name a few
o Buglife provides information on wildlife-friendly gardening, including projects
o Canadian Wildlife Federation has suggestions for specific plants that will support goldenrod spiders

• Perhaps you enjoy spending time in caves and want to limit your impact on cave-dwelling spiders and other wildlife? Check out the Southeastern Regional Association of the National Speleological Society’s info on cave conservation

• Want to hang out with spider experts and learn from them?
o In Australia the Friends of Mount Majura are hosting a Spiders at Night walk on January 8 (spending more time with spiders could be a New Year’s resolution…)
o The American Arachnological Society’s next big meeting is in Colorado in July

• Thinking you’d like to do a bit more to contribute to conservation science?
o The British Arachnological Society has a spider and harvestmen recording scheme that needs public participation
o There’s also a spider survey in Colorado looking for help

I know that, in other posts about ways to contribute to conservation efforts, I have usually provided a longer list with a greater variety of opportunities- I’m sure there are more spider-centric activities out there, it just takes a bit more digging. And maybe, if there isn’t one near you to connect with, this coming year is the perfect time to start something- contact a local university, zoo, or nature center, and see where the conversation leads!

Posted December 30, 2015 by Mirka Zapletal in Arachnids, Arthropods

Tagged with , , ,