Northern Ireland Branch

Murlough Northern Ireland

Species to look out for


Cryptic Wood White by Robert ThompsonWelcome to the Northern Ireland Branch of Butterfly Conservation, which was first formed in 1988 and currently has more than 300 members.

If you live in the region and are a member of Butterfly Conservation you automatically become a member of the Northern Ireland branch.

Northern Ireland is home to around 1000 species of moth and 25 species of butterfly, with almost half of these being priority species.

One of these, the Cryptic Wood White (thought to be Real's Wood White until recent research proved it to be a new species entirely) is only found in Northern Ireland. Craigavon Lakes Local Nature Reserve in County Armagh is the very best place to visit to see this butterfly on the wing during May and June.


Northern Ireland: Winter Talk "Craigavon Cryptics"

Thursday 11th February 2016: 7.15pm

Danielle and Marcus from Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon Council join us to tell us all about the Cryptic Wood White Mark Release Recapture programme trailed at Craigavon Lakes in spring of 2014, our hopes for this moving forward and a new insight into butterfly behaviour.

Northern Ireland: Moth Dissection Training

Thursday 25th February 2016, 10am-3pm

This lab-based course is aimed at relatively accomplished moth'ers who want to take the next step with identifying the more difficult aggregate species that can only be confirmed by the examination of genitalia.

Northern Ireland: Conversazione

Thursday 10th March 2016: 7.15pm

A new venture for BCNI, members of the organisation give short presentations on their close encounters with wildlife over the last year, everything from butterflies in Sri Lanka to bioblitzes in Lagmore Glen!

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Latest News

40 year slump for UK Butterflies

More than three-quarters of the UK’s butterflies have declined in the last 40 years with some common species suffering significant slumps, a major scientific study has revealed.

The giant returns to Northern Ireland

A giant moth whose tongue is longer than its body has been seen in Northern Ireland for the first time in three years, Butterfly Conservation can reveal.

View all Northern Ireland Branch news stories


Test thumb 2Spotted a butterfly in Northern Ireland and want to tell us? You can view or add your own butterfly and moth sightings here.

If you want to take a recording sheet out with you the next time you go on a walk, you can download one for Moths or one for Butterflies.

You can also contact our recorders directly:


We work with the Centre for Environmental Data and Recording to collate all of our online records.


Ways to Get Involved!