Big Butterfly Count: Fine weather boosts species in UK

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Media captionPainted woman butterflies have been seen throughout the nation

A once-in-a-decade mass emergence of painted woman butterflies noticed practically half 1,000,000 recorded throughout the UK.

Results from the Big Butterfly Count, which came about over three weeks this summer season, confirmed 30 instances extra painted women arrived in the UK than in 2018.

The final large inflow of migratory butterfly came about in 2009, when 11 million painted women have been seen.

The rely additionally discovered different frequent species had a great summer season, helped by positive weather.

Image copyright Lynsey Wilson

Peacock butterflies had their greatest summer season since 2014, with a 235% enhance in numbers sighted in contrast with final 12 months, whereas the marbled white noticed a 264% enhance.

Red admirals have been up 138%, gatekeepers up 95%, and there was a 64% rise in sightings of the six-spot burnet moth, one in every of two day-flying moths counted in the survey.

And the struggling small tortoiseshell had its greatest outcome since 2014, with round 70,000 noticed throughout this summer season’s rely.

Image copyright Linda Smith

Experts are nonetheless fearful in regards to the butterfly and have instructed local weather change might be having an affect on its fortunes.

Butterfly Conservation’s Richard Fox mentioned: “Last year the small tortoiseshell experienced its worst summer in the history of the Big Butterfly Count, so to see its numbers jump up by 167% this year is a big relief.”

He added that the outcomes confirmed the species carried out much better in Scotland and Northern Ireland than in England and Wales.

Image copyright Chris Chapman

“We’re still trying to establish what is behind the long-term decline of the small tortoiseshell and, while it is good news that the butterfly fared better this summer, the poor results in southern England in particular suggest that climate change may be having more of an impact on this species than we have previously realised.”

Mr Fox added: “The painted lady obviously stole the show this summer, taking the top spot in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, but 2019 has also been the most successful Big Butterfly Count in its 10-year history, with more people taking part and more counts being submitted than ever before.”

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