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Big Butterfly Count 2016

Today is the first day of the Big Butterfly Count! Launched in 2010, the Big Butterfly Count has rapidly become the wold’s biggest survey of butterflies. It is a nationwide survey which helps us assess the health of our environment, so here at Preloved we want to share the butterfly love and encourage our members to take part!

Why butterflies?

Lepidopterans (the scientific name for butterflies and moths) react very quickly to change in their environment, so they are key biodiversity indicators. If we register a decline in butterflies, this will be an early warning for action.
The reason behind choosing this specific period of time is that it is when most butterflies are at the adult stage of their lifecycle, and so are more likely to be seen.

The initiative will also assist in identifying trends in species such as registering a fall in numbers or the effect of climate change on wildlife.

How to take part

painted-lady-1490989_1920 1. Go to the Big Butterfly Count website and register to become a member.

2. Download the identification chart.

3. Choose a sunny day and sit in the garden, or a park, for 15 minutes and observe your surroundings, taking note of the butterflies you see.peacock-butterfly-484423_1920

4. Count the butterflies you see at any given time. For example, if you see three butterflies together, count them as three individual insects. However, of you see the same species 3 separate times, count it as one as it is likely it will be the same one.

5. You can take part several times at different dates in the same place or in different places you visit. The count is useful even if you do not see any butterflies or moths.

You can find further information on the website as well as downloadable posters which you can put up around your neighbourhood or school.

Zoe Allison

Zoe Allison

Writer and expert