Did you know that since 2010 Butterfly Conservation have carried out a nationwide survey called the Big Butterfly Count? It is now the world’s biggest survey of butterflies and last year over 560,000 individual butterflies and day-flying moths were recorded across the UK! Why count butterflies? Well, they react really quickly to changes in the environment which makes them excellent biodiversity indicators. Butterfly declines are an early warning for other wildlife losses which is why this survey is really important. But don’t just take my word for it, this is what David Attenborough (Butterfly Conservation President) has to say about it, “The Big Butterfly Count is about more than just counting butterflies – we’ll be taking the pulse of nature”.
It is really easy to take part in the Big Butterfly Count. All you need to do is count butterflies for 15 minutes during bright (preferably sunny) weather. The count runs from now until the 9th August so you have plenty of time. You can do the survey anywhere from parks and gardens, to fields and forests. You can also submit separate records for different dates at the same place, and for different places that you visit – which means you can do the survey more than once! Sightings can be recorded online at www.bigbutterflycount.org or you can download the FREE app onto your phone. Butterfly Conservation also provide a FREE butterfly ID guide specifically for Scotland on their website that you can print off.
If you are looking for somewhere to do your survey you could come and visit us here at the Falls of Clyde or do a web search for ‘Scottish Wildlife Trust reserves’ for other places to visit. And remember, we are running children’s butterfly net workshops over the next 3 Sundays. Phone us for more information – 01555 665 262.
Laura Preston – Scottish Wildlife Trust, Falls of Clyde Ranger
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