Climate Change Crisis: Brits Urged To Count Butterflies As Fears The Cold And Wet Spring Has Reached The UK Numbers | News from the UK


The British are urged to take part in an annual butterflies census, fearing an unusually cold and wet spring would affect their numbers.

April was the sunniest on record but it was also cold with a record number of frosts, while May was the wettest in 50 years.

Conservationists warn that Britain has an increasing number of extreme weather Events as a probable consequence of Climate change, and they need public help to measure the effects on butterflies and moths.

Current Butterfly Conservation records show that many species of butterflies have had a poor spring or a delay in emergence due to weather conditions.

TV presenter and naturalist Chris Packham said attending the wildlife charity’s Big Butterfly Count, which begins today and lasts for three weeks, could help provide vital research on the effects of climate change on wildlife.

To participate, people just need to spend 15 minutes outdoors, counting the number and type of butterflies, and seeing some day-flying moths they see – and log their results on the Big Butterfly Count website or app.

Packham wildlife broadcaster, vice president of Butterfly Conservation, said, “Since butterflies and moths are excellent indicators of the effects of climate change and other human environmental factors, it is very important to collect data on their numbers.

“So something as simple as capturing a butterfly that has been spotted in your yard, in your local park, or on your flower box can play an important role in researching a global problem.

“It’s a really valuable contribution that everyone can make.”

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The charity’s annual censuses and other research are already showing changes in the populations of butterflies and moths.

Species are being discovered in new areas while others are becoming increasingly difficult to find in the UK.

The Jersey tiger, a conspicuous moth that flies both day and night, appears in this year’s Big Butterfly Count determination table for the first time this year.

Research has shown that the species is well established along the south coast of England, but is migrating further north and is now being found in increasing numbers in London.

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Last year more than 145,000 counts were submitted to the Big Butterfly Count, a record for the program, but 2020 saw the lowest average number of butterflies recorded since it began 12 years ago.

Dr. Zoe Randle, Senior Survey Officer at Butterfly Conservation, said, “We really need public help to understand what is happening to our butterfly and moth populations. It’s a small but crucial thing that anyone can do.

“This information will not only help us protect these species, but also how climate change is affecting our biodiversity.”

This year’s Big Butterfly Count will take place nationwide from July 16 to August 8.

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