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The UK Butterfly Monitoring Scheme (UKBMS)

Welcome to the United Kingdom Butterfly Monitoring Scheme (UKBMS), a merger of the long-running Butterfly Monitoring Scheme (BMS) with Butterfly Conservation's co-ordination of 'independent' transects. The scheme now records data on over 1,000 sites annually and also incorporates the Wider Countryside Butterfly Survey (WCBS). The resulting UKBMS dataset is one of the most important resources for understanding changes in insect populations... [more]

The scheme has monitored changes in the abundance of butterflies throughout the United Kingdom since 1976. Since then, recorders have made around a quarter of a million weekly visits to more than 1,500 separate sites, walking over half a million kilometres and counting over 16.4 million butterflies!

The UKBMS is based on a well-established and enjoyable recording method and has produced important insights into almost all aspects of butterfly ecology.

A new publication, "The State of Butterflies in Britain and Ireland", was launched on May 15th. This book is a follow-up to the hugely successful Butterflies for the New Millenium atlas, and is available to purchase from the publishers, Nature Bureau (price: £14.50 inc. p&p)


Latest News

2014 Annual Report now available online. more ...

2014 UK Summary of Changes Table 2014 UK Summary of Changes Table available online now. The tables include trend estimates for Wider Countryside species using a new analytical method which includes Wider Countryside Butterfly Survey data, as described in Dennis et al (2013) Methods in Ecology and Evolution 4, 637-645 doi: 10.1111/2041-210X.12053, and discussed in the 2012 annual report. Indices for Habitat Specialist and Migrant species are calculated using the standard analysis described in detail here.

This year’s National Butterfly Recorders’ Meeting will be held at the Birmingham & Midlands Institute on Sat 28th March 2015. The meeting is open to anyone interested in butterflies, their recording, monitoring and conservation. There will be feedback from national butterfly recording and monitoring schemes, including the first announcement of the official UK Butterfly Monitoring Scheme results for 2014. There is also a range of interesting presentations from guest speakers covering new research findings and conservation work. The full programme is available ... here … For further details and to book a place, please contact Ian Middlebrook at

Online Transect Walker now up and running. Go to Mydata:

The UKBMS is run by Butterfly Conservation (BC), the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology (CEH), and the British Trust for Ornithology (BTO), in partnership with the Joint Nature Conservation Committee (JNCC), and supported and steered by Forestry Commission (FC), Natural England (NE), Natural Resources Wales (NRW), Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA), and Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH). The UKBMS is indebted to all volunteers who contribute data to the scheme.