2017 Spring Newsletter

Despite the challenging weather in 2016, we still managed to record 33,000 butterflies and collectively walk 3,182 km across 125 sites! To find out more please click on image below for our 2017 Spring Newsletter.


2017 Butterfly Events

There will be a series of butterfly walks and workshops across 2017. These will cover all aspects of the project including species identification and approaches to surveying butterflies. The list below is still in development and more dates will be added soon, so come back often to check for updates!

Kerry: 13th May, 10am – 4pm. Dingle, An Mhainister (old CBS), John Street (Tomás Murray & Damaris Lysaght)

Booking: Máire Léime, Cáirde Éanlaithe Chorca Dhuibhne, leimemaire@gmail.com

Tipperary: 28th May, 10am – 4pm. Kilsheelan, venue TBA (Tomás Murray)

Booking: Fiona Crotty, Tipperary County Council, fiona.crotty@tipperarycoco.ie

Kildare: 8th June, 8pm. Townhouse Hotel, Naas. (Tomás Murray)

Public talk on the Butterfly Atlas 2021 hosted by BirdWatch Ireland Kildare Branch & Butterfly Conservation Ireland

Carlow: 16th July, 10am – 4pm. Tinryland Parish Hall am, Kilbrannish pm. (Tomás Murray)

Booking: Andrew Power, BirdWatch Ireland Carlow Branch, powera2@tcd.ie


2017 Annual Recorders’ Field Meeting 29/30th July

Photo: Conor Lawless

This year we will hold our annual field meeting for everyone who participates in the bumblebee and butterfly monitoring schemes in and around the beautiful Belmullet peninsula, Co. Mayo. Unlike previous annual recorders’ meetings, the Saturday 29th will be focussed on a single priority species: the Great Yellow Bumblebee (B. distinguendus). Locally, there are two BirdWatch Ireland reserves where the bee is currently in abundance but sadly there are only a handful of areas around the peninsula, north Clare and Sligo where populations of this endangered bee persist.

The goal of the workshop is to highlight the plight of this large charismatic bee and establish more transects targeting this species. On the day, we’ll have introductory talks on its biology and ecology in Ireland, followed by guided walks with Dave Suddaby on the BirdWatch Ireland reserves, and then a ‘team challenge’ to locate the bees at sites where it was known and sites where it may be but has yet to be recorded. We will be recording butterflies too throughout the day and contributing to the Butterfly Atlas 2021!

As always, you’re welcome to join us for a meal in the evening in the Talbot Hotel, Belmullet, and have the opportunity to socialise afterward. The following morning on Sunday 30th will then be a general recording day for both bumblebees and butterflies finishing up at lunchtime. We’ll provide a more detailed itinerary in the coming weeks.

The meeting is free to attend but spaces will be limited, so if you’d like to provisionally book your place please contact me specifying which days (Saturday/Sunday) you’d like to attend and whether you’d like to join us for dinner on Saturday evening.


European Grassland Butterfly Indicator

Butterfly Conservation Europe

The sixth version of the European Grassland Butterfly Indicator, one of the European Environmental Agency’s biodiversity indicators, has just been released. Compiled by Butterfly Conservation Europe, the indicator is based on 4,500 butterfly monitoring scheme transects (122 of which are from Ireland!) across 22 European countries. Overall, grassland butterfly abundance has declined by 30% from 1990 to 2015. In Ireland, 3 out of 6 our widespread grassland species and 1 out 3 of our grassland specialist species are in decline. At a European level, the rate of loss has slowed in the last 5-10 years, but the priority now is to use this information to halt further losses and focus effort on supporting the conservation and restoration of semi-natural grasslands, and the maintenance of High Nature Value farmland. To all our recorders in the Butterfly Monitoring Scheme, it shows how all your efforts contribute directly to butterfly conservation at a local, national and international levels. Click the image below for the full report.



2016 Butterfly News & Events


2015 Butterfly News & Events