Rare trunk ants confirmed in the canton of Bern

Press release

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Formica truncorum
One of the six identified forest ants in the canton of Bern: Formica truncorum NMBE

Since 2020, the ‘Bern forest ant inventory’ project run by the Natural History Museum of Bern (NMBE) has been studying the population of wood ants in the canton. After receiving more than 4,500 reports from the public, the first insights on the species found and their distribution are now available.

Six of the eight species of wood ant known in Switzerland are present in the canton of Bern. Although all six species have been protected since 1966, we know little about where they are found. The ‘Bern forest ant inventory’ project by the Natural History Museums of Bern (NMBE) aims to change this, and is calling on ‘citizen scientists’ – volunteers from the general public – to help them do so. An app is available for volunteers to report the locations where they find an anthill, with a map indicating sites that have already been reported. NMBE project leaders Isabelle Trees and Hannes Baur and their staff are responsible for collecting samples and analysing them in the laboratory. Learn more about their findings so far.