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Butterfly survey is 'worrying'


By Alan Hendry

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A WILDLIFE charity says it is worried by the findings of its annual Big Butterfly Count.

Butterfly Conservation reported a 34 per cent reduction in the average number of butterflies logged per count in comparison with 2019, and the lowest average number of butterflies overall since the survey began 11 years ago.

In all, during this year’s Big Butterfly Count, more than 1.4 million butterflies were counted across the UK.

The most widely counted butterfly in Scotland was small tortoiseshell. A total of 4982 small tortoiseshells were counted north of the border, down by 21 per cent on 2019. Second in the Scottish rankings was the small white at 4241 (down by 25 per cent), with the large white third on 2793 (a five per cent reduction).

Dr Zoe Randle, senior surveys officer at Butterfly Conservation, said: “Unfortunately, this summer has not seen an abundance of butterflies across the UK.

“The Big Butterfly Count is an important snapshot which, along with our other monitoring schemes, helps our understanding of the rates of decline of butterflies and moths. Now we need to see initiatives both here and across the world to put nature on a path to recovery.”

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