Help Butterfly Conservation take nature’s pulse by joining the big butterfly count, 14th July – 6th August. Find out more about this project and take part in the World’s largest butterfly survey and help assess what could be a ‘spike’ in British numbers.
Nick Baker introduces the big butterfly count:
The big butterfly count is a nationwide survey aimed at helping assess the health of our environment. It was launched in 2010 and has rapidly become the world’s biggest survey of butterflies. Over 36,000 people took part in 2016, counting almost 400,000 individual butterflies and day-flying moths across the UK (see the 2016 results).
There’s speculation that butterfly numbers are ‘bouncing back’ but ecologists are keeping their powder dry and preparing the media for signs of a modest improvement over 2016’s figures, which was the fourth worst year for butterflies since scientific monitoring began.
The president of Butterfly Conservation, Sir David Attenborough, who is himself actively encouraging nature enthusiasts across the country to take part in the Big Butterfly Count, said: “Worryingly, we are now seeing the fortunes of some of our once common butterflies mirror those of our rarest species and they too are now also suffering significant declines, with butterflies declining more rapidly in urban areas than in the countryside.”
With more than three-quarters of the UK’s butterflies in decline since the 1970’s it’s incredibly important to get out there and find out if butterflies are bouncing back.
You can download the big butterfly identification chart here.
And submit your sightings here.