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 Jones 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. And 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. As well as determining the direction of any future conservation work aimed at funebris.
Those interested in taking part can help in two ways –
1. By letting me 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. And 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 my contact details are –
Phone: 07583 209231 / 01772 617 221