Friday, 5 December 2014

A good year for butterflies

The latest newsletter from British Butterfly Conservation reminds us how well 
the Big Butterfly Count went:
Futures Forum: Big Butterfly Count
Futures Forum: Butterfly Conservation: the big butterfly count results 2014 

... plus some other good pointers and tips:


Season's Greetings! This month we bring you highlights of a remarkable year for butterflies. We urge you to take care collecting evergreens for Christmas decorations. We look at where butterflies and moths can be found throughout the winter and present an unmissable offer on gift membership, giving you the opportunity to help secure the future for rare species as you shop for loved ones.
A Bumper Year For Butterflies
2014 brought us some lovely butterfly surprises, giving cause for celebration and hope for species whose survival is still threatened.
The season began with a mild spring, which saw many species of butterfly appear several weeks earlier than expected. The vulnerable Glanville Fritillary and Duke of Burgundy were both reported in April - a month ahead of 2013's brood.
In June the appearance of spectacular Continental Swallowtails along the South Coast delighted butterfly lovers who have high hopes they may stay for good.
By mid-July 10 counties were reporting sightings of Scarce Tortoiseshell - a very rare migrant last seen in here in 1953.
Big Butterfly Count participants reported 25% more of our resident Small Tortoiseshell in their results. A reversal of fortune after worrying declines.
Dig It: The Importance Of Ivy
Holly and ivy have been used as winter decorations since ancient times. The fact that ivy stayed green throughout the year encouraged some to believe it had magical properties. It was for this reason that it first became popular to bring it into the home.
Ivy was thought to ward off evil spirits and symbolized eternal life, rebirth and the spring season.
But the merits of this mystical plant have been proven to be more than a myth. Several species of butterfly and moth couldn't get by without it - as a foodplant and as vital all-year-round shelter.
Look Out For: Hidden Gems
A small group of incredibly hardy moths have their main period of adult activity in wintertime, including the aptly-named Winter Moth, December Moth and Spring Usher. But they are mostly alone in their ability to fly through the frosty weather.

Most species of moths and butterflies will overwinter in the UK as caterpillars or as a pupa (moths) or chrysalis (butterflies), hidden somewhere safe.

Those that remain as adults seek out somewhere sheltered and enter a dormant state until they are woken by the arrival of spring.
A Cracking Offer For Christmas!
A year’s membership of Butterfly Conservation is the perfect present for nature-loving friends and family.

This Christmas, in addition to our standard welcome pack, gift membership also includes some special festive extras:
  • A box of butterfly chocolates
  • A Pocket Guide to the Butterflies of Great Britain and Ireland
  • A pack of wildflower seeds.
Members also receive Butterfly magazine three times a year and membership of their local Branch, with regular newsletters and invitations to guided walks, talks and volunteering opportunities in their area.
Useful Links...
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. 
Quick Links

Butterfly Conservation - Home

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