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People Urged To Report Asian Hornet Sightings On Isle Of Wight

Islanders are being urged to report sightings of an unwelcome invader to the appropriate authorities.

Suspected sightings of Asian hornets, a highly aggressive predator of native insects, should be reported to the Non-Native Species Secretariat (NNSS) online or via an app.

It is important to take care not to approach or disturb a nest. Asian hornets are not generally aggressive towards people but an exception to this is when they perceive a threat to their nest.

Smaller than native hornets, Asian hornets can be identified by their orange faces, yellow tipped legs, velvety bodies, darker abdomens, and are active during the day, but never at night.

European hornets have brown tipped legs, long yellow antennae, and a mainly yellow abdomen with an obvious 'waist.’ 

Tony Gillingham, the Isle of Wight Council's tree officer, said:

"Asian hornets are already on the mainland and as close as the New Forest.

"Asian hornets are far more aggressive than our own native hornets and often nest lower, making them closer to human contact.

"The presence of Asian hornets can lead to a decline in native insect populations, which can have cascading effects throughout the food chain.

"Many pollinating insects are predated by Asian hornets, which can in turn have a negative impact on wildflowers and crops which rely on insect pollination, which in turn affects us all.

"By ensuring we are alerted to possible sightings as early as possible, we can take swift and effective action to stamp out the threat posed by Asian hornets."

If you think you have seen an Asian hornet, you can report this to NNSS through the Asian Hornet Watch app or by filling in the online form.

More information on invasive non-native species can be found online.

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