Using UKBMS data
Butterflies are widely accepted as invaluable ecological indicators of ecosystem health. Their high reproductive rates, short life cycles and often specialised habitat requirements allow butterflies to respond rapidly to environmental change.
Being insects also adds to the value of butterflies as biodiversity indicators, as insects account for more than 50% of global biodiversity and majority of animal species in the UK (24,000 insect species, compared to around 200 breeding birds for example.
Butterflies also have great popular appeal and are easy to observe and record.
These attributes have enabled a substantial body of transect data to be collected in the UK over the past three decades and these data have proved invaluable for a wide range of applications, including conservation management, population ecology and climate change research.
Annual reports of the latest findings from the scheme are published each year, including ongoing assessment of species trends