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Weevils released into canal to fight off water fern
3:30pm Monday 12th August 2013 in News
AN ARMY of weevils has been released into the Bridgwater and Taunton Canal to fight an invading water fern.
The 2mm beetle-like creatures have been dropped into the water at North Newton to combat the growing problem posed by azolla ferns, which cover the canal’s surface and kills wildlife by reducing light and oxygen.
Maunsel Lock Canal Centre volunteers helped the Canal and River Trust with the release.
Trust environmental scientist Richard Haine said: “Azolla might look attractive but it’s actually a serious threat to water wildlife across the country.
“With the warmer weather, there’s a danger it can completely take over sections of the canal, so the weevils are our pre-emptive strike.
“The weevils breed really quickly and only eat azolla, so should be extremely effective. We’ll monitor their progress but we back them to do the job.”
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