Butterfly Count

We thought this from Wildlife Extra might be of interest to Westfield Wildlife followers.  All that is required is to simply count butterflies over any 15 minute period in bright (preferably sunny) weather during the big butterfly count period which starts tomorrow!  Further information on how to take part can be found by clicking on the ‘More details’ link below.

Dave – Ralph

Big Butterfly Count 2013

Big Butterfly Count – 20th July – 11th August

The big butterfly count is a nationwide survey designed to assess the health of the UK’s environment. First run in 2010, Big Butterfly Count has become the world’s biggest butterfly survey. 25,500 people took part in 2012, counting 223,000 individual butterflies and day-flying moths across the UK.

The 2012 survey showed that the terrible spring and wet summer was very bad for almost all butterflies. Many common butterfly species were much less abundant in 2012. Almost three quarters of species (15 of the 21 target species) showed year on year declines and 11 of them decreased by more than one third compared with 2011.

Worst affected
Most species showed year-on-year decreases. Common Blue numbers fell by 50% and the Speckled Wood was 65% down on last year’s Count. The Red Admiral, which was so abundant last summer, fell back sharply, with numbers down by 72%. All of the white butterflies declined, as did garden favourites such as the Holly Blue and Brimstone. Peacock numbers fell by 89% compared with 2011, but a late emergence of the butterfly in better weather at the end of August and into September may allow some recovery.

Meadow brown, ringlet and marbled white all increased
But it wasn’t all doom and gloom. Meadow Brown counts rose by 186% on 2011 and this grassland species topped the chart for the first time. The Ringlet and Marbled White also did well. Ringlet numbers increased by 354%, seeing the species climb to 3rd most abundant species this year, while Marbled White counts increased by a staggering 503%, rising from 17th position last year to 7th. The Six-spot Burnet moth did well for the second year in succession, reaching 6th place.

More details 

Download Butterfly Conservation’s handy identification chart to help you work out which butterflies you have seen.

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