Join in Big Butterfly Count
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