Butterflies face climate threats in Scotland

BUTTERFLIES in Scotland are facing threats from climate change, despite a temporary rise in their numbers.

That’s the warning from NatureScot, the Scottish Government agency know previously as Scottish Natural Heritage.

The number of butteries spotted from nine species – including red admiral, orange-tip, and ringlet – increased between 1979 and 2021 due to warmer summers.

Grayling and small tortoiseshell showed the biggest declines over the same period.

Simon Foster, NatureScot trends and indicators analyst, said: “We know that climate change and habitat loss have and will hugely affect butterfly populations.

“Despite this short-term increase in butterflies, we need to be working now to help butterfly populations deal with the increasing influences of climate change.

“Fortunately, there are easy things we can all do to help butterflies.

“It’s wonderful to see many local authorities and individuals using wildflower seed mixes, which will can make a big difference in local areas.

“We’re also working with partners across Scotland on projects to help our butterflies and other pollinators thrive, from creating and managing habitat to promoting wildlife-friendly gardening and best practice guidance for developers.”

He added: “Butterflies can also benefit greatly from more people getting involved in citizen science.

“If you would like to help, one idea is to join the Butterfly Monitoring Scheme and get involved with surveys.

“It’s easy, fun and can help us improve our knowledge of what is happening where, giving us the best chance of targeting conservation measures most effectively.”

Read more stories on Scottish Field’s wildlife pages.

Plus, read about Nordic biodiversity in the September issue of Scottish Field magazine.