Recording and mapping the populations of butterflies and moths in our region is a fundamental part of our conservation work.
During the season we have a small army of volunteers out and about recording butterflies and moths in a number of ways.
Anyone can get involved, and the more people we have gathering data, the more accurate information we have at our fingertips – helping us make vital decisions on how and where to concentrate our conservation efforts.
Casual recording is just that – any time you are out and about, make a note of what you see and let us know.
You can enter all your sightings on our sightings page. Include as much detail as you can, along with any photographs, and most importantly please try to include a six-figure OS grid reference.
You can easily find your grid reference by using this tool.
Butterfly transects are a way of monitoring trends in butterfly populations at a local, regional or national level.
The method was devised in 1973 by the Centre of Ecology and Hydrology (CEH), and involves walking a fixed route across a site each week between April and September whilst counting the number of individuals of each butterfly species.
Transect monitoring is invaluable, especially if the same transect is walked for many years.
It provides early warnings of species decline, at a time when conservation action can be most effective and before species are lost from whole sites and areas.
Transects not only provide accurate assessments of how each species is doing every year, but enable us to investigate butterfly ecology and how habitat management and the weather affect populations.
For more information on transect recording and how you can get involved, visit the United Kingdom Butterfly Monitoring Scheme (UKBMS).
And for more information on recording in our area, get in touch with our county recorders.
Edward Pollard (Cambs)
Rob Smith (Essex)
Tel: 01277 262460