The Big Butterfly Count, the world's largest citizen science survey, is back for 2020.
The annual Count is important for many reasons: butterflies are 'highly sensitive indicators of the health of the environment and play crucial roles in the food chain as well as being pollinators of plants', the Butterfly Conservation explain.
The Count is a great activity for kids and adults, and just taking 15 minutes out of your day t0 surround yourself in nature and understand the butterfly populations is beneficial all-round.
What is it?
The Big Butterfly Count is a nationwide survey, first launched in 2010, that is now the world's biggest survey of butterflies. In 2019, over 113,500 people took part, submitting 116,009 counts of butterflies and day-flying moths across the UK.
When is it?
The Big Butterfly Count launches on Friday 17 July until Sunday 9 August 2020. Please note, the website and app will remain open throughout August so that you can submit your counts.
How can I get involved?
You can either download the Big Butterfly Count app or record your results on downloadable sheets from Bigbutterflycount.org. Watch and observe for 15 minutes and record your findings. You can do as many counts as you like on different days during the three-week Big Butterfly Count period, and even unsuccessful counts (where you don't spot any butterflies at all) are important and should be submitted.
FUN FACT: The UK has 59 species of butterflies – 57 resident species of butterflies and two regular migrants – the Painted Lady and Clouded Yellow.
What am I likely to see?
'Big Butterfly Count takes place during the peak abundance of butterflies in the UK, when the most widespread and numerous species are on the wing. Nevertheless, no two years are alike and as we have had a warm spring, and butterflies have emerged early, we may see less of our early-summer flying species (such as Marbled White and Ringlet) by mid-July, when the Count starts, and more of our late-summer flying species (such as Large White and Peacock),' explains the Butterfly Conservation.
'It also depends where you live or make your butterfly count as to what you are likely to see, as butterfly populations can be different in urban or rural areas as well as clustered in different places across the UK.'
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