Big Butterfly Count Results 2016: Key Findings and Insights

Big Butterfly Count Results 2016: Key Findings and Insights

Big butterfly count results 2016

The results from this year’s butterfly count are very worrying. An enormous quantity of 396,138 butterflies were counted and more than 38,000 counts were completed.*

It seems that some common species like Gatekeeper, has suffered a 40% decrease, have declined rapidly over the last few months despite our seemingly mild summer. Sightings seem to be down by 40% compared to this time last year. Experts think that the reasonably mild winter and cool spring has had a dramatic effect. It could be that pesticides and intense farming may also be responsible.

The recent State of Nature report has revealed that one in ten UK species is unfortunately threatened with extinction. Our UK butterflies are fighting to survive as three-quarters of all species are in decline. We need to create more suitable habitats for butterflies and they need everyone’s help.

The beautiful Peacock butterfly has decreased from 3.6 individuals per count in 2013 to just 0.5 per count in 2016.*

Orange & black butterfly

It hasn’t all been bad news, though, with seven species counted in bigger numbers, the lovely Red Admiral did very well with its numbers up by 70%.*

Follow this link to find your regional results.

So what can we do to help?

Even though our days are shorter don’t let it stop you from going out into the garden. This is a great time of year to help wildlife and especially butterflies. If you have a Buddleia bush, favoured by most butterflies, now is the time to cut it down and dispose of the seed heads, plan ahead and plant spring flowering bulbs like narcissus and allium, as these will help early butterflies to find essential nectar, when they first emerge from hibernation. Also keep in mind plants like pansies and primroses, which will cover the bare soil until the bulbs break in to flower.

Butterfly on pink flowers

Also, why not join thousands of people who care about our environment? Build a butterfly garden, and together we can boost our butterfly numbers in time for next year’s count.

*figures from Big Butterfly Count 2016

Written by Angela and Chris

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