UK’s butterfly population expected to soar

butterfly count

A record 113,000 people participated in Big Butterfly Count last year.

Britons are being encouraged to spend 15 minutes outside counting butterflies from today to help with a nationwide survey of the species.

The Butterfly Conservation said this year may be the best in two decades for spotting the winged insects after two hot summers.

Its annual Big Butterfly Count encourages people to spend time in a park, garden, field or wood and count the butterflies they see.

Chris Packham, the wildlife campaigner and vice-president of Butterfly Conservation, said: “Butterflies and moths are key indicators of the health of our environment and anyone can help contribute to our understanding of these incredible creatures by taking part in in the Big Butterfly Count.

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“The sightings you submit will be used to map and measure populations and the geographic spread of species across the UK. We’re asking everyone who has been given a helping hand from nature this year to return the favour.”

Last year, a record 113,000 people participated in the count – submitting 116,009 counts of butterflies and day-flying moths from across the UK. This year it runs between July 17 and August 9.

Spotters download an app on add counts on the website here, while this on interactive map demonstrates how data is contributing to conservation science and research.

Zoë Randle, a senior survey officer at Butterfly Conservation, said: “The very sunny spring weather meant almost all butterfly species have emerged early this summer, so we are hoping for some interesting data. As our weather patterns change it’s more important than ever for us to be able capture this information.”

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