Woodlands.co.uk Blog
Woods for sale for conservation and enjoyment

You are here: Home > Blog > Flora & Fauna > The Big Butterfly Count – Results 2016

Print this page

The Big Butterfly Count – Results 2016 ~ by Lewis

The Big Butterfly Count – Results 2016

The results of this year’s Big Butterfly Count are now available online and are discussed here : http://butterfly-conservation.org/48-13538/mystery-of-butterfly-disaster-summer.html.

Sadly it is clear that a number of butterfly populations have fallen as compared to last year.   Indeed the numbers are the worst recorded since the start of the BBC (Big Butterfly Count). Numbers were lower than those recorded in 2012 when there was a cold and wet summer – which is never conducive to any aspect of the life cycle of butterflies (egg / caterpillar/ chrysalis / imago).

Results of the 2016 Big Butterfly Count

Name of butterfly Abundance / Number counted Percentage change Ranking
Common Blue 5938 -55 15
Holly Blue 3969 -48 17
Small Tortoiseshell 12335 -47 9
Comma 7514 -46 14
Peacock 18508 -42 7
Gatekeeper 47597 -40 4
Small Copper 2286 -30 19
Painted Lady 4246 -23 16
Brimstone 3629 -20 18
Silver Y moth 1244 -12 20
Large Skipper 8182 -2 13
Meadow Brown 57281 1 3
Large White 62890 2 1
Speckled Wood 10271 12 10
Small White 61955 15 2
Six-spot Burnet 8417 20 12
Ringlet 26968 32 5
Green-veined White 16879 58 8
Marbled White 9461 58 11
Red Admiral 26568 70 6

 

Data from Big Butterfly Count 2016.

butterfly-danceThe results were a surprise to the butterfly conservation people and there is no readily available or clear explanation for the falls in the various populations.  Possible causes have been suggested – which include

  • The mild winter
  • The cold Spring
  • The ongoing effects of intensive farming
  • Ongoing loss of habitat and
  • The use of pesticides

Or perhaps all of the above !

On a more positive note, the red admirals and the green veined whites have fared well.  And, the large white was the most frequently seen butterfly and its numbers were up by 2%.


Comma butterfly : photo by A J Symons.

Comma butterfly : photo by A J Symons.

(The Big Butterfly Count is sponsored by Waitrose and John Lewis).

Posted in: Flora & Fauna ~ On: 10 October, 2016

1 Comment so far

Tony Powell
12 October, 2016

Hi Lewis,

I’ve also posted some of my own thoughts on this breaking story over at naturestimeline, should anybody care to look at them, the link is as follows.

https://www.facebook.com/naturestimeline/posts/1229027930488981

Best Wishes

Tony Powell and naturestimeline

Leave a comment

© 2020 Woodland Investment Management Ltd | Disclaimer | Privacy Policy | Contact us | Blog powered by WordPress