Tuesday, 24 September 2013

Butterfly Conservation: the big butterfly count results

This month's Butterfly Conservation newsletter's big story is that butterflies have done very well out of this summer's good weather.
Butterfly Conservation - Hot Summer Helps Butterflies Bounce Back 

See also: Futures Forum: Butterfly Conservation
Futures Forum: Sid Meadow in July... and the Big Butterfly Count

You can see exactly what was recorded in your area by checking the results
big butterfly count main results
and by feeding the location into the interactive map to See what has been spotted in your area or view by habitat or individual species.
big butterfly count interactive map


This month we reveal your Big Butterfly Count results and explain how species have fared in the warm weather. Our secret gardener unearths the reasons why your windfall fruit is such a sweet temptation to autumn butterflies and Richard Fox lifts the lid on what’s on the wing this September.
Butterflies Bounce Back
It looks like our butterflies enjoyed the long, hot summer of 2013 just as much as we did with the Big Butterfly Count revealing record-breaking results.

Warm weather created a butterfly bonanza with four times as many recorded during this year’s Count than in 2012.

More than 44,000 of you took part, counting a staggering 830,000 butterflies.
The whites did well, with both Large White and Small White numbers up by more than 300%.

Small White topped the 2013 chart with the Large White in second place and Peacock a surprise in third.

Garden-favourite the Small Tortoiseshell recorded its best Count result yet, coming sixth.

Some 15 of the 21 Big Butterfly Count species increased this year compared with 2012 and 12 of these were up by at least 50%.
Look Out For: Peacocks
Hibernation starts surprisingly early for some butterflies and with bumper numbers of Peacocks and Small Tortoiseshells around this summer you may find them in your home over the coming days.

Such visitors may be looking for cool, sheltered places to sit out the winter. But, while it is lovely to have such beautiful insects in the house, the butterflies are making a grave mistake. Central heating spells disaster for hibernating butterflies, causing them to wake too early. Put sleepy butterflies back outside on nice autumn days or carefully relocate them to unheated building such as garages and sheds.
Dig It: Sweet Harvest For Drunken Butterflies
September brings the first mists and mellow fruitfulness of autumn. This is a month of bounty in the garden with apple trees and berry bushes hanging heavy with fruit.

But remember not to discard your windfall crops. Bruised apples provide a key food source for butterflies. You may even witness tipsy Red Admirals and Commas feasting on the fermenting fruit.

If you don’t have any fruit trees, don’t despair. Empty your fruit bowl of over-ripe extras and leave them in a place where the butterflies can feast.
Liked Counting Butterflies? Come And Join Us!
If you enjoyed taking nature’s pulse with the Big Butterfly Count why not take the next step to help conserve the UK’s butterflies and moths?

For a short time only Butterfly Conservation is offering free year-long membership.

You’ll be invited to get closer to the butterflies and moths where you live with your local Butterfly Conservation Branch.

Get inspired to go exploring on our beautiful UK-wide reserves and enjoy reading the latest butterfly news and features in our exclusive
Butterfly magazine.
Useful Links...
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Lifting the lid on behind-the-scenes work keeping our staff busy – from midnight mountain searches for rare moths to needle-in-a-haystack hunts for Hairstreak eggs.
EventsYou can brush up your identification skills, help on a conservation task, see a rare species or just enjoy beautiful reserves across the UK. Find out what's happening near you. 
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