butterfly houses

Nigel Venters venters at interalpha.co.uk
Mon Feb 8 13:21:26 EST 1999

Anne Kilmer wrote:
> What I like about these silly butterfly houses is that their owners are
> trying to  do something nice for nature. It's a start.........but we
might keep a few of the species we're >hot on exterminating ... I'd like

Your right Anne, it is good to see people giving nature some thought,
however I would guess that most of the UK population would be amazed to
learn that adult butterflies overwinter. 

Butterflies are getting  a higher profile now in the UK (I'm afraid moths
lag a long way behind!), and some excellent work has been done to promote
this. I'm afraid that when it comes to preservation of threatened species
our efforts leave a lot to be desired. We can protect a species by banning
all collecting & trade, but if a developer wants to build houses on the
site thats OK. All rather odd logic to me.  

> I may have ruined my own Irish tool shed as a butterfly hibernaculum,
> when I roofed it in Perspex (transparent roofing material) ... will they
> mind it being so light in there? It'll be dry and warm....... 

Transparent roofing won't help much... The real reason that they look for a
dark place is that there are no natural equivalents in nature to
glass/perspex etc. Therefore light to butterfly...equals... Not enough
protection to last the winter. It may be dry and warm but the butterfly has
to make the decision... will it remain dry & warm throughout winter?
However you may well be ok if you have dark areas within the shed. 
Nigel Venters

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