A CAMPAIGN to rescue a rare species of bumblebee - which can be found in South Pembrokeshire - has been launched.

Conservationists and organisations are uniting to save the Shrill carder bee (Bombus sylvarum) threatened by loss and fragmentation of habitat.

The coalition will collect scientific evidence on current Shrill carder bee populations and work with landowners to create a network of flower-rich landscapes to support its recovery.

The collaboration will also raise awareness among the wider public of the importance of this beautiful but endangered insect.

Among the bodies supporting the campaign are Pembrokeshire County Council and the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority.

It is hoped the strategy – launched today (Tuesday, July 14) and led by the Bumblebee Conservation Trust together with Buglife – can help to create a landscape where the Shrill carder bee population can survive and thrive.

Apart from South Pembrokeshire, the rare bumblebee can only be found in four other isolated populations areas, namely the Thames estuary; Somerset; the Gwent Levels and the Kenfig – Port Talbot area.

A sixth population, located on Salisbury Plain, is thought to have been lost in the last 10 years.

The small number of surviving populations makes the Shrill carder bee vulnerable to inbreeding and loss of genetic diversity, further increasing the risk of local extinctions.

The project steering group also includes the Bees, Wasps and Ants Recording Society; Cyfoeth Naturiol Cymru/Natural Resources Wales; the RSPB, and Natural England.

For more information on the Shrill carder bee: https://www.bumblebeeconservation.org/red-tailed-bumblebees/shrill-carder-bee/

A conservation strategy for the Shrill carder bee, Bombus sylvarum in England and Wales 2020-2030 will be available on the Bumblebee Conservation Trust’s website from July 14.