Longleat has joined an international rescue programme to try and save a Critically Endangered species of wolf spider.
It’s thought that only around 4,000 Desertas wolf spiders survive in the wild within a small valley on the uninhabited Desertas Grande island, part of an archipelago off the south east coast of Madeira.
Longleat is one of seven collections, including Bristol Zoo, which is working with the Portuguese government on the conservation programme.
A total of 52 young spiders arrived at Longleat in December. The plan is to raise the spiderlings to adulthood and then establish a satellite breeding population with batches being released back into the wild to boost native numbers.