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Council supports butterfly survey (26/03/07)
Highland Council’s Biodiversity Officer is urging people in the Highlands to keep their eyes peeled from early April onwards for a butterfly whose distribution could be affected by climate change.
The Council is supporting a survey by Butterfly Conservation Scotland of the Orange-tip Butterfly. On the wing from mid to late April until late June , this little white butterfly with orange wing tips is found in meadows, hedgerows and woodland edges.
Results of a previous survey in 1997 - that used records from members of the public over the whole of Scotland - showed that the Orange-tip Butterfly’s range had spread north and west past Inverness, but not to Skye or Caithness. This expansion of their breeding range is thought to have been due to climate change.
Now, ten years later another Scotland-wide survey will take place. Postcards, with the butterfly’s picture on the front, have been distributed to all Highland libraries. Members of the public are being urged to fill in a postcard and send it off to Butterfly Conservation Scotland (BCS) if they see an Orange-tip Butterfly. BCS will compile all the records and from them we will find out how much further this butterfly may have spread.
Jonathan Willet, Highland Council’s Biodiversity Officer said: “We are happy to assist Butterfly Conservation Scotland with this survey of the Orange-tip Butterfly. In Highland, we are particularly interested in recording sightings in the west and north of Inverness.
“Our Countryside Rangers throughout the Highlands will also be on the look-out as they go about their usual business of guided walks and we hope to get a good number of accurately recorded sightings.”
All recorded sightings of the Orange-tip Butterfly are welcomed and don’t need to be on an official postcard. Sightings will be accepted in writing to: Butterfly Conservation Scotland, Balallan House, 24 Allan Park, Stirling, FK8 2QG. Senders should include their name and address as well as where, when and how many Orange-tip Butterfly were sighted.