Step 1: Get to know your butterflies
You can find hints and tips about how to identify Irish butterflies under the ‘About butterflies‘ section of this site. Do you have one of our handy pocket guides? If not, you can buy them from our online shop. We also offer workshops where we teach butterfly identification. To see if a workshop is coming to a place near you, the current list of workshops can be found in our News & Events section.
Step 2: How much time would you like to spend monitoring butterflies?
If you have a particular walk you enjoy, it’s easy to access and you want to monitor butterflies along this route for a number of years, then either the Irish Butterfly Monitoring Scheme or the Five Visit Monitoring Scheme would suit you best. They’re both identical in approach but in the Irish Butterfly Monitoring Scheme (weather depending!) we aim to walk once a week from the 1st of April until the 29th September (ca. 26-30 hours per year). This scheme provides information both on butterfly population change and phenological (timing of life cycle events) change.
The Five Visit Monitoring Scheme is less intensive (ca. 5-6 hours per year), walking 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.
Alternatively, if you want to help monitor population changes in a specific species, particularly rarer species not commonly encountered in our other monitoring schemes, we’re currently developing Single-Species Monitoring Schemes too (ca. 5-6 hours per year). Please click on the images below to find out more.