Week Thirteen

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Do you know what an invasive species is and why they are a problem? In this set of resources you’ll find out all about alien species, invasive species and alien invasive species, as well as three invasive plant species that damage our river ecosystems. The Wildlife Fact file today is about the Holly blue butterfly, a bright blue butterfly that emerges in two generations per year.

We have introduced these online learning opportunities in response to Covid-19, which has prevented us from going into schools in the Ribble Catchment as we normally would. This is our way of bringing our educational topics to you at home so you can continue to learn all about rivers and wildlife. Each week we will be providing a new main topic, a Wildlife Fact file and a quiz.

Invasive species
Alien invasive species can have very serious negative effects on our natural world. In this Prezi you will learn what is meant by “alien species”, “invasive species” and “alien invasive species”. We will also look at three plant species that are not native to the UK but are causing lots of problems for our rivers, and what you can do to help stop the spread of invasive plant species in the UK.

Wildlife Fact file
This week’s Wildlife Fact file is about the Holly blue butterfly. Read the fact file below or click to open the pdf.


  1. What is an invasive species?
    1. A species that has made its home and spread in an area where it is not normally found
    2. A species brought into an area where it is not normally found
    3. An animal that fights with other animals
    4. A predatory organism
  1. When do Holly blue butterflies emerge?
    1. March – May
    2. July – September
    3. March – May AND July – September
    4. All year round
  1. Why are invasive species a problem?
    1. They are bad for native ecology
    2. They are bad for the economy
    3. They are bad for human health
    4. All of these answers
  1. What do Holly blue butterfly caterpillars born in the spring mainly eat?
    1. Ivy
    2. Forget-me-nots
    3. Bramble
    4. Holly
  1. Which of these is NOT somewhere you might expect to find Himalayan Balsam in the UK?
    1. Riverbanks and streams
    2. Dry habitats
    3. Ponds and lakes
    4. Ditches and damp meadows
  1. How do female Holly blue butterflies look different to males?
    1. Orange spots on their wings
    2. They are a lighter blue
    3. Broader black borders on their wings
    4. They are darker blue
  1. Why is Giant Hogweed dangerous to humans?
    1. Humans are allergic to it
    2. It has big spikes on it
    3. Its roots trip people up
    4. It can cause burns on your skin
  1. What colour are the spots on the underside of Holly blue butterfly wings?
    1. Purple
    2. Orange
    3. Black
    4. Red
  1. Where is Giant Hogweed native to?
    1. Central Asia
    2. South America
    3. East Europe
    4. Australia
  1. What is different about Holly blue butterflies compared to other grassland butterflies?
    1. They fly high around bushes and trees
    2. They have spots on their wings
    3. They aren’t really blue
    4. They fly low to the ground

Click here for the answers