Butterfly count in Coton to shed light on species in area
Nature enthusiasts in Coton are helping scientists to understand the impact of climate change on butterflies by taking part in the Big Butterfly Count (from July 14 to August 6).
They conducted 15-minute counts in the garden, orchard and monoculture field at Coton.
Annabel, six, and Tommy, three, took charge of the garden count with a little help from their mum. They recorded an impressive 13 butterflies, including small tortoiseshell, large white, peacock and red admiral.
Rachel Dungate, butterfly enthusiast and transect walker for the Coton Countryside Reserve, along with Anna Gazeley, whose family owns the 100-year-old orchard, did the orchard count.
They recorded 81 butterflies in 15-minutes including speckled wood, brown argus, holly blue, red admiral, common blue, meadow browns, gatekeepers and the often-elusive white letter hairstreak. This species has declined by 93 per cent since the 1970s.
A staggering contrast to the monoculture field, with no butterflies being recorded in the 15-minute timeframe.
Catherine Isitt said: “To have the younger generation taking part in the Big Butterfly Count was particularly important, considering the way that butterflies have been declining over the past few decades.”
Some 80 per cent of the 59 butterfly species in Britain are declining in distribution or abundance.