How to get involved

Monitoring butterflies

There are lots of ways that you can get involved in Butterfly Conservation Northern Ireland.

Tell us what you see when you're out and about, help at events, attend our field trips and talks or simply join Butterfly Conservation and support our work. We run training courses throughout the year to help skill-up our volunteers and members.


Butterfly walkKnowing where butterflies and moths are is crucial to conserving them, especially as many of our common species are often under recorded.

Anyone can help record sightings of butterflies and moths in Northern Ireland.

A record is simply; What, where, when, how many and who saw it?

Even photographs count as records if you know where they were taken, even if you don't know what it is you've photographed. You can upload photographs onto our Flickr site and someone will help you ID them.

Sightings can be logged on our branch website, or reported directly to our moth and butterfly recorders;

Moth Recorder for Northern Ireland: Ted Rolston
Butterfly Recorder for Northern Ireland: Ian Rippey

Surveys and monitoring

If you enjoy recording and would like to get more involved, Butterfly Conservation run a number of surveys throughout the year. These surveys are used to find out more about particular sites or record specific information about threatened species, so that we have a better understanding of how they are faring.

Many of our priority species require annual monitoring so we can see how well they are doing on specific sites. Opportunities arise at different sites for different butterflies and moths throughout the year. We may be monitoring Marsh Fritillary webs in County Down, Dingy Skipper butterflies in County Fermanagh or hunting Argent and Sable moths in County Tyrone to name a few.

To find out what's coming up, contact the Senior Regional Officer.

Volunteer opportunities

James at the BBC eventVolunteering at events

We don't just need people to help with butterfly and moth recording, we also need friendly faces to help encourage others to get involved. If you enjoy telling people about your passion, then you would be very welcome to come and help out at events.

You don't have to be an expert, you just have to enjoy talking to people and showing them some of the wonderful creatures that many of them will never have seen before.

Practical Volunteering

We are hoping to run some small scale practical conservation days at a couple of priority species sites. Full training will be given and equipment provided. Get in touch for more information.

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