[Fwd: FW: Butterfly migration is biggest for years]

Neil Jones neil at nwjones.demon.co.uk
Tue May 26 13:45:48 EDT 2009

 *Butterfly migration is biggest for years*



Millions of Painted Lady butterflies are now arriving in Britain, after 
an amazing 1000 mile migration from North Africa.


The charity Butterfly Conservation has been receiving reports since the 
start of the Bank Holiday weekend of sightings of large numbers of these 
butterflies. People throughout Britain have seen these fast-flying 
butterflies moving overhead for hours on end, setting the scene for what 
could be one of the largest Painted Lady migrations in decades.


The first indication of their arrival in Britain came last Thursday (May 
21) when Butterfly Conservation members first reported seeing large 
numbers off Portland Bill in Dorset. Since then, thousands have been 
seen flying north at locations across southern England, from Cornwall to 
East Anglia.


The fine Bank Holiday weekend weather brought hundreds of new sightings 
from as far north as Dumfries and Galloway in Scotland. There were even 
sightings of hundreds in central London. An estimated 18,000 were 
spotted flying past  Scolts Head Island on the Norfolk coast yesterday 
and were passing at 50 a minute over a 400m front today.


Scientists have been predicting an unusually large migration since late 
winter. The butterflies originate from the Atlas Mountains of Morocco, 
where heavy winter rains allowed good germination of the caterpillar 
food-plants. A Spanish researcher, Constanti Stefanescu had reported 
seeing hundreds of thousands emerging in mid February and beginning 
their long flight north. They were seen in large numbers in Spain during 
April and a few weeks later in France.


Butterfly Conservation is asking for the public's help to track the 
migration by recording any sightings at 


Richard Fox, Surveys Manager at Butterfly Conservation, said: "There are 
literally millions of Painted Lady butterflies arriving right across 

This is a spectacular phenomenon and we are asking people to send us 
their sightings via our website".





For further information contact


Louise Keeling

Senior Publicity Officer

01929 406 005

lkeeling at butterfly-conservation.org 
<mailto:lkeeling at butterfly-conservation.org>




1.* Butterfly Conservation* is the largest insect conservation charity 
in Europe with nearly 14,000 members in the UK. Its aim is the 
conservation of butterflies, moths and their habitats. It runs 
conservation programmes for over 60 threatened species of butterfly and 
moth, organises national butterfly recording and monitoring schemes, and 
manages over 30 nature reserves. Further information can be found at 
www.butterfly-conservation.org <http://www.butterfly-conservation.org/>


2.* * *Butterflies* are important indicators of the health of an 
environment. In profusion, they show us that nature is in healthy balance.




*Lou Keeling*
*Senior Publicity Officer*
lkeeling at butterfly-conservation.org
Butterfly Conservation
Manor Yard
East Lulworth
Dorset BH20 5QP
Tel Direct: 01929 406005. Tel Reception: 01929 400209: Fax 01929 400210
Company limited by guarantee, registered in England (2206468). Charity 
registered in England & Wales (254937) and in Scotland (SCO39268)

*Over 40 years of saving butterflies, moths and their habitats*
Butterfly Conservation
Manor Yard
East Lulworth
Dorset BH20 5QP
Tel. 01929 406010
Registered in England No. 2206468 Registered Charity No. 254937
Butterfly Conservation is dedicated to saving Butterflies, Moths and 
their Habitats. If you would like further information please view our 
website at_ __<<http://www.butterfly-conservation.org/>>_
The views and comments expressed in this email do not necessarily 
express the views of Butterfly Conservation.
If you do not wish to receive any further information about the 
conservation, campaigning and fundraising work of the Society please 
send an email with the word 'unsubscribe' in the subject line to_ 
__info at butterfly-conservation.org_



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