Butterfly surveys are an excellent way to gather information on the health and prevalence of butterfly species over time in certain areas.
Cumbria Branch Survey Involvement
Morecambe Bay Anania funebris
Mountain Ringlet Survey 2013
Wider Countryside Butterfly Survey
Morecambe Bay Anania funebris Survey
Graham Jones, Butterfly Conservation Project Officer - Northern England, is making a request for help in surveying for Anania funebris, a day flying moth, within the Morecambe Bay area, April - June 2013.
This year, Butterfly Conservation will be undertaking an extensive survey of Anania funebris - a UK Conservation priority species - within the Morecambe Bay area, which Graham will be coordinating.
At present, knowledge of the distribution and abundance of Anania funebris is patchy at best, particularly in areas away from the Arnside and Silverdale AONB. A more robust dataset is sorely needed to help us determine the current status of funebris within the Morecambe Bay area.
Results obtained from this survey will also be used as a baseline to assess if current woodland management work, aimed primarily at threated fritillary butterflies, is also benefiting species such as funebris. The results willhelp to determine the direction of any future conservation work aimed at funebris.
Those interested in taking part can help in two ways:
1. By letting Graham know of any Anania funebris you record this year, ideally as soon as possible after the sighting so that further surveys can be undertaken if needed.
2. Agreeing to undertake a specific survey for funebris at a particular site throughout April, May and June. Survey work should not be too onerous and should only involve a 1-2 hour walk, on a weekly/fortnightly basis.
An Anania funebris 'crib-sheet' will be available to help with identification for those who are keen to submit casual records, which is aimed particularly at butterfly transect recorders. Identification and survey workshops will be advertised shortly for all those interested in taking part.
Anania funebris is a colourful, day-flying moth that will fly prominently in sunny weather. So please don't be put off in getting involved by thinking that you may not have the necessary expertise. This is most definitely a project that anyone who has an interest in watching butterflies and day-flying moths can make a very positive contribution towards!
To submit records, request a crib-sheet, or to volunteer for a survey area the contact details are:
Graham Jones. firstname.lastname@example.org, telephone: 07583 209231 or 01772 617 221.
Mountain Ringlet Survey 2013
Cumbria branch are organising a felltop survey for the Mountain Ringlet this summer. If you would like to get involved, or simply send in a sighting to the survey co-ordinators, please read & download one of the linked documents below.
The Information Sheet is designed for those people, perhaps visitors to the area, who would like to send in a casual sighting.
The Surveyors' Notes and Record Form are aimed at people who would like to get more involved with our structured survey.
Enjoy your days on the fells..!
Martin Tordoff & Steve Clarke, Survey co-ordinators.
The Wider Countryside Butterfly Survey - Can you help in 2014?
Many "common" butterfly species are undergoing serious declines and are in need of greater attention. The Wider Countryside Butterfly Survey (WCBS) organised by Butterfly Conservation, the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology (CEH) and the British Trust for Ornithology (BTO) is a national survey of common and widespread butterfly species. Now in its sixth year, it is the first UK-wide survey of butterfly abundance using a random sampling framework. The WCBS will enable the changing abundance of these species in the general countryside to be more effectively monitored. The survey will also help to measure the future impacts of climate change on butterflies and to assess whether environmental grants to farmers and woodland managers are helping to restore butterfly populations across the landscape. WCBS covers the majority of habitat types in the UK, including urban and upland sites; this is in contrast with the long-established transect monitoring system, which tends to focus on nature reserves and sites which are generally better for butterflies. Using new analytical techniques, WCBS and transect data will be combined to produce even more accurate butterfly indicators than hitherto available.
Like the transect method, WCBS relies almost entirely on volunteer effort. In Cumbria we urgently need additional surveyors for the WCBS. Coverage in this thinly-populated county has been less than desirable and BC's Cumbria Branch now seeks your help in achieving higher coverage from 2014 onwards. Would you be prepared to survey one or more 1km squares? All that is required are a minimum of two visits to your allotted square, in July and August each year, with a minimum of ten days between the two visits. Optional extra visits in May and June are especially valuable though not essential. I can supply maps for each of the target 1km squares. Some of these have been surveyed previously and will already have a survey route plotted on them; others have not been surveyed yet and it's then up to the surveyor to plot a route on the map - ideally two parallel 1km survey lines running N-S or E-W, divided into ten continuous 200m sections numbered 1-10, the lines around 500m apart and 250m in from the edge of the square. In practice, for various reasons survey lines are likely to deviate somewhat from this "ideal".
The survey is conducted by walking at a slow, steady pace, identifying and counting all butterflies seen within 2.5m either side of the survey line, up to 5m ahead and 5m from ground level up (effectively a 5x5x5 "moving box"). As with the normal transect method certain minimum weather standards must be met on survey days. The results can be submitted online to BC or on paper forms if the internet is not available. There are 1km squares across the length and breadth of Cumbria available in 2014. If you'd like to help with this survey, or just learn more about it, do please get in touch and I can tell you which squares are still available for 2014. More detailed information on the WCBS can be found on the UKBMS website.
Martin Tordoff - WCBS Coordinator, Cumbria Branch. Tel: 01539 735935. Email: email@example.com