One of the most popular and well-known groups of insects are butterflies which can serve as useful bioindicators thanks to their monitoring. Butterflies started to be monitored in Europe in the 70's and right now butterflies are already one of the best-monitored insect groups in the world, but there are gaps in our knowledge. For that reason, BCE continues promoting butterfly monitoring everywhere.
Lycaena disparLycaena dispar
Butterflies are valuable bioindicators of terrestrial ecosystems because they meet a series of requirements:
They are easy to recognize
They are very sensitive to changes (both climatic and actions in their habitats)
They are a prominent group of insects that collectively make up more than two-thirds of all species on Earth.
Together with other insects, they are a vital component of the food-chain, providing food for other insects as well as birds and mammals, and the pollination of wildflowers.
Projects boosting butterfly monitoring
BCE has been working on several projects for promoting and improving butterfly monitoring in Europe and other places. Discover more in the following links:
What is the eBMS - European Butterfly Monitoring Scheme?
European Butterfly Monitoring SchemeEuropean Butterfly Monitoring Scheme
Butterflies in Europe have been counted by Butterfly Monitoring Schemes since 1976. The method consists of counting butterflies along a fixed route called a transect which is visited regularly during the butterfly flight period (the exact period depends on the country). Most transects are counted once per week by volunteer recorders.
There are well organised schemes active in Europe in many countries, from Finland in the north to Spain in the south. The European Butterfly Monitoring Scheme (eBMS) was formed by Butterfly Conservation Europe in April 2016 to bring together data from these country schemes into a single database. The work is coordinated by the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology in the UK and has its own dedicated website.
Butterfly Monitoring Schemes in Europe
Butterfly monitoring is booming. Since the start in the UK in 1976 more and more schemes join in. At present the following schemes are active in Europe (click the links for more info):
Mating of Cupido argiades Mating of Cupido argiades
Andorra: all species since 2004 (inside CBMS)
Austria - AUBMS: new scheme in 2019, more than 30 transects