Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Counting Butterflies and Moths

A request from Steve.

As I took part in the first national survey of the UK butterfly population (1993-2003), which ended up supplying the largest amount of raw data ever collected, I've been asked to encourage people to take part in a count for this year by Butterfly Conservation. Such data has been unique and successful in gauging things like climate impact, whereas before this, only sparse local data was available with an inconsistent method and only really useful for illustrating natural population crashes and demonstrating habitat loss or interference.

So, between now and Sunday 10th August it would be great if you would take part in this citizen science project. All you have to do is spend a 15 minute period on as many different days as you like (one is okay!) in a static location, recording how many of each different types you see. Then enter your result on the dedicated website which has all the information you need including a common species identification chart. There is also a free smartphone application to download. A nil return is still valuable!

Go to www.bigbutterflycount.org

I have an Observer's Book of British Butterflies from 1938 which includes about 120 species, nearly half of which have gone extinct in the UK in my meagre lifetime. That is the real impact of Climate Change and us living in an age of mass extinction. We need to know what's out there. Please take part in this.

Love Steve

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