Butterfly Monitoring Schemes

The National Biodiversity Data Centre run a variety of butterfly monitoring schemes. You can choose your scheme based on the amount of time you are able spend, where you are able to go or if you have a particular interest in a species.

You can buy a pocket sized identification guide from our online shop.


Irish Butterfly Monitoring SchemeSmall Copper Liam Lysaght

In the Irish Butterfly Monitoring Scheme we aim to walk once a week from the 1st of April until the 29th September. This scheme provides information both on butterfly population change and phenological (timing of life cycle events) change. This will roughly take 26-30 hours per year.


Five Visit Monitoring SchemeCommon Blue Liam Lysaght

The Five Visit Monitoring Scheme is identical  to the Irish Butterfly Monitoring Scheme but requires less time. The aim is to walk twice between the 22nd April and the 16th June, and three times between 1st July and 31st August, and provides provides information on butterfly population change. This will roughly take between 5-6 hours per year.


Garden Butterfly Monitoring Scheme Small Tortoiseshell

The Garden Butterfly Monitoring Scheme is done in your garden and only takes 15 minutes. If you can record in the same location over multiple times, it will make your data more valuable as this allows us to see changes over time.




Marsh Fritillary Monitoring Scheme Marsh Fritillary Liam Lysaght

The Marsh Fritillary is Ireland’s only legally protected insect and is localised to where it is found. For this reason, we have a targeted monitoring scheme for the Marsh Fritillary. The Marsh Fritillary Monitoring Scheme roughly takes 5-6 hours once per year.