News & Events
The EU Grassland Butterfly Indicator: 1990-2017
In collaboration with networks of fellow butterfly recorders and monitoring schemes across Europe, Butterfly Conservation Europe has just released the latest version of the EU Grassland Butterfly Indicator: 1990-2017. The data underpinning the indicator is gathered from 6,200 transects across 15 EU countries (including us!). This represents an enormous amount recording activity and information e.g. everyone walking these transects across Europe in 2017 collectively walked 55,880 km recording butterflies – that’s 1.4 times around the Earth!
The key statistic from the report is that since 1990 we’ve lost 39% of our grassland butterflies. Sadly, no-one has been surprised by these results but it is both a stark reminder of the challenges we face to protect these species and how sensitively butterflies reflect landscape-scale degradation. This indicator has now been adopted by European Commission and published by Eurostat as one of the core long-term indicators monitoring the EU’s progress on the implementation of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (pages 301 and 307 of the 2019 progress report). Our recorders efforts in monitoring butterflies have always been important for informing how we protect and restore these species in Ireland, but due to the efforts of the Data Centre are now having an increasingly high profile in informing European efforts to halt and reverse these declines too.
You can download the full report by clicking on the below image.
The weather in 2018 ended up being very kind to both recorders and our common and widespread butterfly species. In total, we recorded 46,065 butterflies and collectively walked 2,628 km over 1,412 hours! This represents the second best year on record for Irish butterflies with populations up by 29% on our 2008 baseline. To find out more please click on image below for our 2019 Newsletter.
In parallel, our partners in the Butterfly Atlas 2021 Project are also running butterfly events across the island of Ireland.
Butterfly Conservation Ireland list of events in 2020
Butterfly Conservation Northern Ireland list of events in 2020