Monday, August 08, 2011

Re-posting: Butterfly Conservation

The big butterfly count

The big butterfly count is a nationwide survey aimed at helping us assess the health of our environment. It was launched in 2010 and an impressive 10,000 people took part, counting 210,000 butterflies and day-flying moths across the nation. We hope that many more people will join this year's big butterfly count (16th July -7th August 2011).  
Why count butterflies?

Butterflies react very quickly to change in their environment which makes them excellent biodiversity indicators. Butterfly declines are an early warning for other wildlife losses.  That’s why counting butterflies can be described as taking the pulse of nature.

The count will also assist us in identifying trends in species that will help us plan how to protect butterflies from extinction, as well as understand the effect of climate change on wildlife.
How to take part

Simply count butterflies for 15 minutes during bright (preferably sunny) weather from 16th July to 7th August 2011. We have chosen this time of year because most butterflies are at the adult stage of their lifecycle, so more likely to be seen. Records are welcome from anywhere: from parks, school grounds and gardens, to fields and forests.

You can submit separate records for different dates, and for different places that you visit. Remember that your count is useful even if you do not see any butterflies or moths.

You can only send in your sightings online.  The website will be open to receive records throughout July and August.  You can log your sightings until end of August
For more information and to record your sighting at the Big Butterfly Count please CLICK HERE.  For more information about the Butterfly Conservation please CLICK HERE.

The other reason I wanted to repost about this is not only the importance of insect conservation but for insect fascination. I originally came a newspaper article, advising people that the Butterfly Conservation were asking people to venture into their garden at night to sight the elusive nocturnal tiger moths whose numbers are declining, and included was a picture of the tiger moth and I was enraptured.

I'll be the first to admit I thought the moth in the more boring or tragic of the insect category, usually a boring brown or mousy gray, pathetically attracted to light which spelled its demise, but then I saw these moths and I felt I had been missing out all these years and (pun intended) the lights had been switched on.  As per usual, I'll let the images do the talking, but isn't it  just amazing? (Ghibli couldn't have done better).

Garden Tiger

Garden Tiger

Nais Tiger Moth

Ecuador Thais Tiger Moth

Glanycus coendersi

Virginia Tiger Moth (this is my favorite!)

Elephant Hawk Moth


White Ermine

Giant Leopard Moth

Areas galactina tiger moth

Cream spot tiger moths

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