Jul 18

The exciting big butterfly count takes place in the UK this month from 16th – 31st July and invites novices and experts alike to help out in a nationwide survey of some of our spectacular butterflies. By doing this the organisers, Butterfly Conservation, are aiming to create important records of how healthy our butterfly populations, and therefore habitats, are. Last year a staggering 10,000 people took part counting an amazing 210,000 butterflies and day-flying moths.

Comma butterfly image

Comma butterfly (Polygonia c-album) on flower

With over half of the UK’s 60 resident butterfly species currently threatened with extinction, the big butterfly count has the full backing of Wildscreen patron Sir David Attenborough, who had the following to say:

“Butterflies are one of the stars of the British countryside. Summer just wouldn’t be summer without them. But they continue to be in long-term decline. I urge everyone, young and old, to take part in the Big Butterfly Count to help us assess the fortunes of these bewitching creatures.”

Common blue butterfly image

Male common blue butterfly

Meadow brown butterfly image

Meadow brown butterfly

Get Involved

To take part, all you need is 15 minutes on a bright, preferably sunny, day and the free big butterfly count downloadable butterfly ID chart. You then simply count how many of each species you see and record you sightings online! Check out the big butterfly count ‘how to’ section for further details on how to carry out your survey. Some of the star participants of your survey might include the red admiral, small tortoiseshell, common blue or green hairstreak butterfly.

Green hairstreak butterfly image

Green hairstreak butterfly

Fancy joining in? Let us know how you get on!

For more information on butterfly conservation, visit the butterfly conservation website.

Fancy finding out more about other marvellous mini-beasts? Take a look at our new education resource.

Becky Moran,  ARKive Media Researcher

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