Scottish Conservation Strategy

We need your help

Scotland only has 37 butterfly species but just over 1500 different moths comprising around 960 micro-moths and 560 macro-moths.  It is obviously important, particularly given our limited resources, to ensure that we focus our efforts, (staff, volunteer and monetary), on those species deemed in most need of action.  We have therefore reviewed the status of Scottish lepidoptera and identified 106 priority species (10 butterflies, 55 micros and 41 macros).

We have been working on many of these are species for several years and many are former UKBAP and current Scottish Biodiversity List (SBL) species.  However, a number have not previously been listed.  This particularly applies to the micros which are under-represented on the SBL list, but increased recording has allowed us to more accurately assess their status and thus determine if they are in need of conservation action.

Each species was assessed and allocated one of three priorities High (H), Medium (M) or Low (L).  In addition, high priority species (H) were also been ranked into two threat categories

  • A - Action Urgent across UK range
  • B - Action less urgent across UK range, but may be required at the country/regional level

The highest priority species are thus labelled HA, the next level being HB, the remainder M.  The 106 priority species comprise

HA          23 species (3 butterflies, 12 micros & 8 macros)

HB          37 species (2 butterflies, 19 micros & 16 macros)

M            46 species (5 butterflies, 24 micros & 17 macros)

It is our intention each year to focus our efforts on a subset of species, with targeted surveys and training days. It is our intention in 2020 to focus our efforts on the following species.

{Links for further information on these species and how to get involved will become live and available during the course of the season}

  • Cairngorm Specials - Dark Bordered Beauty & Kentish Glory
  • Bearberry Specialists - Small Dark Yellow Underwing & Coleophora arctostaphyli
  • Wood Munchers - Welsh Clearwing & Goat moth
  • Ash Dependent - Barred Tooth-striped
  • Scarce Burnets – Forester moth & Mountain Burnet
  • Single Site Micros - Choreutis diana, Eana argentana & Ethmia pyrausta
  • Borders NBA – Northern Brown Argus

Our Conservation Strategy will always be a work in progress and thus the status of each species is not static, as they can be relegated or promoted to a higher or lower priority if deemed necessary, depending on the effectiveness of our conservation action.

Summaries of our previous work on a selection of priority species are available in the links below

Work is also taking place for many other species, right across Scotland. Please contact us if you would like to know more, or if there are sites under threat that we should know about @email