Glasgow & SW Scotland Butterflies

Glasgow & SW Scotland Branch Website

January 8, 2009

Wider Countryside Butterfly Survey

Filed under: Butterflies — Andrew Masterman @ 11:07 pm

For many years, Butterfly Conservation has been aware that many “common” butterfly species have undergone serious declines and are also in need of conservation action.  However, Butterfly Conservation’s current butterfly monitoring and recording schemes do not provide enough information to pick up detailed trends in the countryside as a whole. The UK Butterfly Monitoring Scheme (UKBMS) mainly covers semi-natural habitats and the Butterflies for the New Millennium scheme (BNM) gathers crude measures of abundance from opportunistic visits rather than from a systematic survey. In both these butterfly recording schemes, “ordinary” farmland and upland areas are greatly under-surveyed. The new Wider Countryside Butterfly Survey (WCBS) is intended to fill these gaps and will give Butterfly Conservation estimates of the abundance of widespread butterflies in the countryside as a whole, as well as adding to distribution data.

The Wider Countryside Butterfly Survey aims to achieve the following:

1)    To identify trends of widespread butterflies in the countryside so that Butterfly Conservation can lobby for more effective conservation of the landscape as a whole.

2)    To identify richer areas of the countryside for different widespread species.  This would help Butterfly Conservation relate density to landscape features and enable us to influence new landscape conservation measures.

3)    To evaluate the impact of Government “green” farming schemes (such as Environmental Stewardship in England) and see whether such schemes are helping species such as the Small Copper and Common Blue.

4)    The data will give Butterfly Conservation  another valuable dataset to help monitor climate change. 

 The Wider Countryside Butterfly Survey is based on the Breeding Bird Survey methodology of the British Trust for Ornithology in which randomly selected 1 km squares are visited twice during the breeding season to determine which bird species breed in the 1 km square.

The Wider Countryside Butterfly Survey has been field-tested over the last three years by several branches and the feedback has been very positive. Butterfly Conservation hopes that each branch will manage to survey 20 randomly selected 1 km squares using 2 to 4 visits between May & August.

See Wider Countryside Scheme for further information.

If you would like to volunteer to take on a 1 km square in the Glasgow & SW Scotland Branch area, please see Volunteers Wanted for Wider Countryside Butterfly Survey in 2009.



Posted by Committee Member Andrew Masterman

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