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Butterfly numbers up on last year

Two butterflies with pale blue underwings in mating pose
Holly Blues mating. Photo: George McCabe

Judging by the records sent in to this website, butterflies are doing a lot better so far this year than last year.The number of butterflies reported this year, as of 7 July, was 15,677. The same time last year the number was only 7,873: an increase of 99%! See the full information on our ‘This year vs. last year’ page and on the Sightings Summary for 2016 page.

While butterfly numbers are always going to be strongly affected by how well they did last year, this hot weather seems to be good for them – or at least good at encouraging people to get out and record them. If the number of photos being sent to our Gallery of mating pairs is anything to go by, the butterflies are doing their best to see that the next brood or next year’s adults are numerous.

The records received via this website last year were second only in number to those brought in via our extensive series of butterfly monitoring or ‘transect’ walks, so a big thank you to you all for sending in your sightings: please keep it up, using our online Recording Form.

We won’t know the true picture until all the records for the year are in and analysed, but it’s nice to see we’re doing so well at this point in time.

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