It’s always good news when an endangered species sees its population begin to grow once again. Every living thing in the world plays an important role in the ecosystem, and their return to the population is vital to the entire environment.
This formerly endangered animal has seen its population double in the past two years, though when you see what it is, you might not be jumping for joy.
Fen raft spiders, also known as great raft spiders or by their scientific name, dolomedes plantarius, are the largest arachnids in the United Kingdom. Listed as endangered since 2011, they were on the path to extinction. Now, hundreds of them are being released back into the wild.
These massive spiders can grow to be the size of a rat, though fully-grown females usually are about three inches long. Keep an eye out for white stripes on black or brown if you want to see them… or want to know what to avoid!
Over the past few years, conservationists working with the Chessington World of Adventures released over 400 of them into the Suffolk Wildlife Trust in the U.K.
Since the population of fen raft spiders has nearly doubled in the past two years, the zoo has determined that they don’t need to breed them anymore.
Regardless of your feelings about huge, rodent-sized spiders, you have to admit that that’s impressive!
Chessington World of Adventures has been rewarded by the U.K’s BIAZA awards for this incredible conservation effort. But while they totally deserve it, I’m not so sure I want to run into one of these things myself.