Butterflies are a fantastic indicator of the natural environment around us. Meaning environmentalists and conservationists can gain lots of important information from the data collected by this annual survey.
Some butterfly numbers are stable, such as the Large White, but many are endangered, with over all numbers crashing since the 1970’s. Habitat loss and pesticide usage over the years, has had a massive impact on butterfly numbers.
Butterflies and moths usually complete their life cycle in a single year, providing food for other wildlife; especially small birds who feed their young with caterpillars.
Every summer in the UK, people can do their bit for conservation research, simply by spending 15 minute counting butterflies. What a lovely activity!
Butterfly identification help
Scientists are able to assess the health of our environment by analysing the amount and type of butterflies we see. You can count every day or just one day and it is a great thing to do with the kids on a walk or in the garden for 15 minutes.
Check out the ID guide by guest blogger, Nick Ostler butterfly ID. Download the free app to identify and record the butterflies you spot.
Use the handy butterfly ID chart on the Butterfly Conservation website.
IMAGE: Marbled White by Bob Eade © Butterfly Conservation.