Join in Big But­ter­fly Count

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - Business Kent Update -

Broad­caster Sir David At­ten­bor­ough is urg­ing peo­ple in Kent to take part in the world’s largest but­ter­fly sur­vey as the in­sects face a crit­i­cal sum­mer.

The Big But­ter­fly Count is run­ning un­til Au­gust 6 and peo­ple are be­ing asked to spend 15 min­utes to count how many but­ter­flies they can see and then sub­mit­ting the re­sults on­line.

Sir David, chair­man of But­ter­fly Con­ser­va­tion, said: “The next few weeks are a vi­tal pe­riod for our but­ter­flies. They need to make the most of this chance to feed and breed.

“Last year, but­ter­flies like the small tor­toise­shell, pea­cock, meadow brown and gate­keeper saw their num­bers fall as a warm win­ter and cold spring ear­lier in the year led to prob­lems that af­fected their num­bers later on.

He con­tin­ued: “Wor­ry­ingly, we are now see­ing the for­tunes of some of our once com­mon but­ter­flies mir­ror those of our rarest species; they are suf­fer­ing sig­nif­i­cant de­clines with but­ter­flies de­clin­ing more rapidly in ur­ban ar­eas than in the coun­try­side.

“In the last decade our but­ter­flies have ex­pe­ri­enced sev­eral poor years and although re­silient, they sim­ply can­not sus­tain re­peated losses, es­pe­cially if the habi­tats they need in order to re­build their pop­u­la­tions are also un­der threat.”

Peo­ple are be­ing en­cour­aged to get out into their gar­dens or to their near­est park to spot the wildlife and the re­sults of the count will help but­ter­fly sci­en­tists find out how the in­sects are do­ing and where con­ser­va­tion ef­forts should be tar­geted in the fu­ture.

For more in­for­ma­tion, visit www.big­but­ter­fly­count.org

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