Conserved and protected worms

Roger Bamber r.bamber at
Thu Apr 20 06:01:44 EST 2000

"This came about" owing to the fact that when, in 1990, I confirmed only 
the fourth known site for Alkmaria romijni in the UK, this established its 
sufficient rarity for it to be added to the quinquennnial review of the 
Wildlife and Countryside Act (1981), whereby it became protected under 
Schedule 5 (i.e. the same one as bats, whales, etc., most of which 
appeared at the time to be commoner than A. romijni). English Nature (or 
was it the Nature Conservancy Council then?) were quite rightly 
scheduling a number of marine invertebrates which were known only 
from the specialist community in coastal saline lagoons (see Bamber et 
al., 1992; Aquatic Conservation: Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems, 2: 
65-94). The other lagoonal polychaete to be scheduled was Armandia 
cirrhosa (at that time known from only one lagoon in UK). Both species 
were, of course, known from elsewhere in Europe, although not 
widespread. [the other scheduled species include two anemones - one 
now thought to be extinct - one amphipod, one bryozoan, one hydroid, 
one gastropod, one beetle and two charophytes.] 

Subsequently, Alkmaria romijni has proven to be commoner, and to 
occur in some non-lagoonal but tidally restricted estuarine situations (see 
the Gilliland and Sanderson paper). Meanwhile, Armandia cirrhosa has 
not been seen in its original lagoon site for some 15 years, but has 
appeared at the Fleet, Dorset, and the adjacent Portland Harbour: it is 
currently being investigated under the English Nature Species Recovery 
Programme, with a view to re-establishing its previous population to 
afford it more security. Both of the Armandia lagoon sites are now SACs. 

Roger Bamber

> The ampharetid Alkmaria romijni is protected 
> under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 in the UK. Can anyone in the 
> know tell us more about how this came about? 

Roger Bamber
Dept of Zoology
The Natural History Museum
Cromwell Road
London SW7 5BD, UK
Tel: +44 (0)207 942 5636  Fax: +44 (0)207 942 5054
E-mail: r.bamber at

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