The long, tough grasses provide cover and shelter, making rhos pastures a favoured habitat for birds like snipe and curlew. The Marsh Fritillary is a butterfly particularly associated with this habitat, as it contains both its food plant, Devil’s Bit Scabious and the thick tussocks that shelter the caterpillars over winter.
The rhos pasture within the National Park has some key populations of Marsh Fritillary butterflies that are among the best anywhere in the world. It is essential that this habitat is maintained with low intensity grazing by cattle and horses. Sheep find the tough grasses of this habitat unpalatable and many areas have been lost by encouraging other grasses to take over so that sheep can be farmed.
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