Great Raft Spider (Dolomedes plantarius)
Mohamed bin Zayed Species project number 13256173
Throughout Europe Dolomedes plantarius (Clerck, 1757) has status VU, however it is possible, that in some countries the state of its population is critical, while in others there are more favourable conditions for great raft spider. It is known that Dolomedes plantarius (Clerck, 1757) can be found mostly near open water bodies like banks if rivers, lakes or bogs. Such places are very vulnerable and taking into consideration that Dolomedes plantarius (Clerck, 1757) cannot live in biotopes with high level of anthropogenic transformation, we suppose that in Europe the number of favourable habitats decreases. At the same time, Belarus has plenty of various water bodies: over 20000 rivers, 11000 lakes and over 14.1 % of the territory is covered with bogs. So, the chance that there are plenty of stable populations of great raft spider in Belarus is extremely high. That makes Belarus a unique place where Dolomedes plantarius (Clerck, 1757) might be saved for the whole Europe.However, no special research has ever been conducted to study great raft spider in Belarus.
Our project consists of two stages. During the first one it is important to find as many habitats in Belarus as possible where Dolomedes plantarius (Clerck, 1757) is comparatively abundant and spread the data on its distribution through scientific journals, popular issues and official reports. Before the project there were only 5 official registrations of this species in Belarus. All new sites will be officially protected.
The second stage includes interactions with conservational organizations, local authorities, farmers and etc. The aim of this stage is to draw attention to great raft spider. With help of official bodies we hope to organize seminars that will explain local people, interested NGOs and universities staff the importance of preserving this species in the wild. Another important point of the second stage is to give special conservational status to the territories where Dolomedes plantarius (Clerck, 1757) is present and that currently don't have such status. The increase of the protected territories will contribute to saving great raft spider in its natural habitat. Moreover, with help special seminars we hope to change the principles of agricultural activities near water bodies so local farmers will contribute to conservation of Dolomedes plantarius (Clerck, 1757).
The long term effect of the project will be creating of a monitoring system that will help to follow all changes in great raft spider populations. In addition, we hope that current project will help us to draw additional funding for conservation activities in general, so we invite all interested organisations and private persons for cooperation.
- Scientific article about Dolomedes plantarius in Belarus
Project 13256173 location - Belarus, Europe