As part of the Butterfly Atlas 2021, low priority squares are a fun and easy way of contributing to the atlas. Whether you have minutes or hours to spare to help us map Ireland’s butterflies, in low priority squares we ask you to:

  1. Submit records of any butterflies you see there from 2017 to 2021. If you’re already involved in one of our monitoring schemes, thank you, you’re already contributing excellent records for that square.
  2. Try to visit a variety of habitat types within that 10km2 square to increase your chances of seeing all the species that may be present.
  3. Record butterflies in the square at two times per year, ideally from mid-April to mid-June and again across July or August. This ensures your recording coincides with species who may only be seen on the wing early (e.g. Orange-tip) or late (e.g. Grayling) in the season.


What information do I record and where do I send it?

Recording is simply noting where, when and what species of butterfly you have just seen. No matter where you are, what time of year or whether it’s an adult or a caterpillar (or even a chrysalis or egg if you’re good enough!), if you know what species it is you can let us know here:

The minimum amount of information we need for a record to be submitted is:

Using the above example – Species: Meadow Brown, Location name: Merlin Woods Galway, Grid Reference: M337259, Date: 29/06/2014, Recorder name: Colin Stanley, Email address:

Species name (English or scientific)
Location name
Irish grid reference (you don’t need to know this, just click on the map at the website above to let us know where)
Record date (when you saw the butterfly)
Your name
Your email address

Optional but useful information with your record could be habitat information, what life stage you saw, the number seen and, most importantly, a photo if you have one. Any of the butterfly records you submit to our database you can then access, visualise on a map and download at the above website.

In addition, for anyone wishing to record as a team, if you all use the same email address but add each individual’s name to each record, you can work together to record butterflies. Some groups are even using this to run butterfly recording competitions e.g. who recorded the most butterflies in May, who recorded more than 10 butterflies in 10 locations or who recorded the rarest butterfly across the year!

Casual recording of butterflies is a fun and easy way of contributing information to help map and conserve Ireland’s butterflies. No matter how much or how little time you have all records are valuable and will directly contribute to the Butterfly Atlas 2021.