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Butterfly Conservation Warwickshire - Branch Logo featuring the White-letter Hairstreak butterfly.Butterfly Conservation.

Early Start For Rare Spring Butterflies

by Butterfly Conservation
Date: 05/06/2014

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Many of the UK's rare spring butterflies have emerged three weeks earlier than last year and a week earlier than average as a result of the recent mild weather, Butterfly Conservation has revealed.

One of the UK's rarest species - the Lulworth Skipper - emerged on May 21st, more than a month earlier than last year when it first appeared on July 1st.

The threatened Glanville Fritillary emerged on April 29th, four weeks earlier than in 2013, while the Duke of Burgundy was first seen on April 9th, three weeks earlier than last year.

The rare Wood White emerged three weeks early and the Dingy and Grizzled Skippers both appeared almost a month earlier than in 2013.

Last year's delayed butterfly emergence was due to the coldest start to spring for half a century so the mild weather experienced this year has seen more typical emergence dates this year.

But, many species have still emerged about a week earlier compared with the 10-year mean for 2002-2011.

The Small Blue and the Wall both emerged around two weeks earlier than the 10-year average while the Holly Blue and the Green-veined White emerged around a week earlier than normal.

Butterflies hibernating over the winter such as the Brimstone, Small Tortoiseshell and Peacock have also been seen in large numbers this year after butterflies bounced back in the warm summer of 2013.

Butterfly Conservation Surveys Manager, Richard Fox explains: "Over the longer term, many butterfly species have shifted their emergence to earlier in the year in response to climate change."

He's now asking the public to submit their sightings this spring and summer, so the wildlife charity can continue to monitor the situation.

"Our first encounter with a favourite butterfly species each year is a special moment to treasure, but these sightings are also important indicators of how our native wildlife is responding to changes in the environment."

Butterfly Conservation has just launched the free iRecord Butterflies app, which allows users to submit their butterfly sightings and photos to form part of Butterfly Conservation's long-running national recording scheme. The results will then be used by scientists to determine how species are faring.

More than 4,000 sightings of 29 different butterfly species have already been logged through the new app since it was launched in April.

The iRecord Butterflies app is available for iPhone from iTunes and for android devices via the Google Play Store

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For pictures or interviews please contact the Butterfly Conservation press office on 01929 405005 or

Butterfly Conservation is the UK charity dedicated to halting the rapid decline of butterflies and moths and protecting our environment. We run conservation programmes for more than 100 threatened species and manage over 30 nature reserves.

If you have any questions or require more information about this press release, please contact Butterfly Conservation by email.

About Our Press Releases

Butterfly Conservation Warwickshire regularly issue press releases on issues in relation to butterfly and moth conservation in the Coventry, Warwickshire and Solihull area alongside occasional press releases covering national stories from Butterfly Conservation's head office.

If you require further information about a specific press release, please contact the specific press release author.

Press Release Archive

22/03/2016 -  Small Copper slumps as butterflies strug

23/10/2014 -  Butterflies Find Solace With Shakespeare

06/06/2014 -  Early Start For Rare Spring Butterflies

05/06/2014 -  Early Start For Rare Spring Butterflies

03/04/2014 -  Butterfly Fightback Begins

18/02/2014 -  Farmland Butterflies Flourish

26/03/2013 -  2012: A Disaster Year For UK Butterflies

01/02/2013 -  UK Moths Suffer 40-Year Crash

17/01/2013 -  Grass Feeding Butterflies Defy Deluge

05/11/2012 -  Butterfly Survival Blueprint Unveiled

18/10/2012 -  Painted Lady Migration Secrets Unveiled

12/07/2012 -  Butterfly Warning as Deluge Takes Toll

21/06/2012 -  The Return of the Ranunculus - The Moth

01/06/2012 -  Small Tortoiseshell Slide Continues


15/02/2012 -  Funding Boost for Warwickshire's Woodlan

16/01/2012 -  High speed rail route gets go ahead

08/01/2012 -  Almost three quarters of UK butterfly sp

08/01/2012 -  Butterflies Bamboozled in 2011

08/01/2012 -  The Large Blue: Back in Britain

16/05/2011 -  Rare butterflies show signs of recovery

21/11/2010 -  World leading building materials company

12/11/2010 -  Red alert for Britain's butterflies

01/12/2009 -  Models get dirty to break world record a

12/11/2009 -  Butterfly migration mystery solved

23/07/2009 -  A billion butterflies - but crisis remai

26/06/2009 -  Butterflies come out to celebrate at lau

20/06/2009 -  Scientists ask for help as moths change

26/05/2009 -  Butterfly migration is biggest for years

20/04/2009 -  The Great British Butterfly Hunt

08/04/2009 -  UK butterfly numbers plunge to new low

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Notes For Editors
Butterfly Conservation is the largest conservation charity of its type in Europe with over 13,000 members in the UK. Its aim is the conservation of butterflies, moths and their habitats. It runs conservation programmes on over 60 threatened species of butterfly and moth, organises national butterfly recording and monitoring schemes, and manages over 30 nature reserves.

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