A new online analytical tool has been launched to track and record invertebrates, to help scientists better understand conservation status and habitat-related traits of invertebrates.

Natural England and the Centre for Ecology & Hydrology (CEH) have launched the new system, comprising of an online database and an analytical tool called Pantheon.

The database will play an important role in identifying trends to better protect our natural environment, and Pantheon was developed to assist invertebrate nature conservation in England.

The information collected will be used to assign quality to sites, assist in management decisions and further other ecological study.

Users will import lists of invertebrates into the database, which then analyses the species, attaching associated habitats, resources and conservation status against them.

With contributions from Buglife and the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, this project brings together 10 years' worth of work by Natural England's scientists to make it easier than ever to understand the importance of invertebrates in England.

Pantheon can tell users which species are typical of woodland canopies, dead wood and shaded woodland ground layers.

It can also identify how many species from a selected site are using flower-rich habitat and which specific flowers they need.

In the future, Pantheon will also help users understand the impact of climate change on species communities in the wider countryside and protected places.

James Cross, chief executive at Natural England, said: "Pantheon is a fantastic example of how we are pushing the boundaries of science and IT to benefit invertebrate conservation.

"Researchers, ecologists and land managers will have access to a wealth of data.

Dr Hannah Dean, database and informatics specialist at the CEH, said: "CEH is working to develop innovative, world-class outputs that advance scientific knowledge and understanding.

"Pantheon combines an extensive online database with a set of analytical tools.

"Together these deliver vital information on invertebrate species and their habitats, enabling evidence-based decisions that support the conservation of natural resources."

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For more information on the Centre for Ecology & Hydrology please visit ceh.ac.uk