Uni moths

What is University Moth Challenge?

University Moth Challenge (UMOC) is a joint initiative by the UK’s youth nature network A Focus on Nature (AFoN) and Butterfly Conservation. Together our aims are:

  • To encourage more biological recording at University
  • To encourage more young people to take an active interest in moths
  • To give young people valuable biological recording and identification skills
  • To link young people and Universities with the National Moth Recording Scheme

We are inviting students studying in colleges and universities across the UK to form a team and use a range of survey and trapping techniques to discover moths on their campus and beyond. To make things more interesting, we have set this up as a competition, running from 1st April to 31st July 2019 (you can enter at any time over this period). Teams compete against each other to win some exciting prizes (kindly donated by our sponsors, NHBS) in four different categories; the number of species recorded, number of individual moths caught, number of people taking part in a single trapping/surveying event and number of surveying sessions held over the competition period.

University Moth Challenge is designed to give students an opportunity to develop new skills and have fun in the process. But there is a real and pressing conservation side to this too. The abundance of the UK’s larger moths has crashed during the past 40 years with three species becoming extinct since 2000. The State of Britain’s Larger Moths Report 2013 found that two-thirds of common and widespread larger species (macro-moths) declined in the last 40 years. By taking part in the scheme we hope to hook many students into the fascinating world of moths and moth recording so that we can continue to collect the data we need to conserve them.

How do I take part?

If you would like to join in this year’s prestigious University Moth Challenge then please:

  1. Download and read through the UMOC Challenge Pack for all the details (see below)
  2. Email umoc@butterfly-conservation.org with your team leader's name and contact details, your team name and the name of your university/college
  3. Dowload the Moth Recorder's Handbook for guidance and tips on moth trapping and other ways to survey

On entering the competition, you will then be sent a special code which will allow you to use a fantastic one-year free membership offer to Butterfly Conservation. We hope you will join us for this year's challenge. The winning teams will be announced in August.

Good Luck!