Rare bug 'threatened' by development in Highlands

Slender groundhopper. Pic: BSCG In Scotland the slender groundhopper has only been found in the Cairngorms

The biggest population of a rare invertebrate found in Scotland is being "threatened" by development, according to a conservation group.

Slender groundhopper has been discovered at a few locations in the Cairngorms National Park.

The largest number have been recorded at An Camas Mor, near Aviemore, where 1,500 homes have been proposed.

Badenoch and Strathspey Conservation Group (BSCG) has called for the site to be protected against development.

The Cairngorms National Park Authority's (CNPA) planning committee will consider Rothiemurchus Estate's proposals for An Camas Mor next Friday.

'Chronic shortage'

A relative of grasshoppers and crickets, slender groundhopper were found at the site by BSCG in May.

Evidence of the insect was sent to Buglife Scotland for verification.

BSCG said: "The slender groundhopper tetrix subulata in Scotland has so far only been found in a few locations, all of which are threatened by new housing development within the Cairngorms National Park."

The An Camas Mor project team see the 259-acre (105-hectare) development as a solution to the area's "chronic shortage" of housing, business and community facilities.

If approved, the scheme would be built in phases and completed by 2027.

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