London Natural History Society The place for wildlife in London

London Natural History Society - The place for wildlife in London


Report for the London Natural History Society, Ecology and Entomology Section AGM: 15 November 2016

Butterflies report

The ‘Butterflies of London’ survey of the distribution of butterflies in Greater London launched at the start of the spring and has continued throughout the year. The weather during the year was seldom the best for butterfly recording.

The project aims to:

Survey the distribution of butterflies in London;

Provide a comparison with the maps of the 1980-86 LNHS survey;

Evaluate the changes in distribution and of abundance;

Provide information on how butterflies can be encouraged and conserved in London.

The project has encouraged all existing surveying projects, while encouraging additional surveying. The additional recording has had a particular focus on urban and suburban areas, which are not usually the focus of site-based recording. We’ve also included a number of churchyards and cemeteries.

There are still gaps – both geographic and of species when flight periods were missed. We are hoping to collate more records from recorders during the autumn, while the LNHS are working with other organisations to share records. If you have records, please let us know where the recording has covered – and to where the records are flowing? The LNHS Ecology and Entomology Section are looking to launch requests to fill some of the gaps next year.

Monitoring continued at the butterfly transect sites. Monitored sites also provide a high level of consistency and coverage of records. We are encouraging recorders to use a facility of the online UKBMS (UK Butterfly Monitoring Scheme) to generate automatic Excel files of their records. Those provide individually grid-referenced records as compared with a only a single site grid-reference.

Given that the atlas project is in progress, this year’s report on the monitored transect sites will focus on population changes rather than distribution.

The Hertfordshire Natural History Society; and Hertfordshire and Middlesex Butterfly Conservation are this autumn publishing their book on the butterflies of those areas.

Leslie Williams

Lepidoptera (butterflies)