TELEVISION presenter Chris Packham today launches Butterfly Conservation’s Big Butterfly Count.
More than 113,000 people took part in last year’s survey and the wildlife charity expects even more participants this year.
Fine spring weather led to the earliest average emergences of butterflies for the past 20 years and Butterfly Conservation has received thousands of extra enquiries about butterfly and moth sightings during lockdown.
Participants are asked to spend 15 minutes in an outdoor space counting the amount and type of butterflies – and some day-flying moths – they see.
There were 11,057 counts submitted in Scotland for the Big Butterfly Count last year with overwhelmingly abundant numbers of painted lady butterflies spotted, up 7,541% from the previous year, while green-veined white and small copper butterflies saw declines of 56% and 60% respectively.
Packham said: “While so many of us have had a bit more time to appreciate the nature on our doorsteps during the lockdown – and learning about the natural world has been a mindful distraction from uncertainty – this is a real chance to do something positive and contribute to conserving nature.
“Butterflies and moths are key indicators of the health of our environment and anyone can help contribute to our understanding of these incredible creatures by taking part in in the Big Butterfly Count.
“The sightings you submit will be used to map and measure populations and the geographic spread of species across the UK.
“We’re asking everyone who have been given a helping hand from nature this year to return the favour.”