ABLE is a major new project that will use butterflies to indicate the future health of Europe's environment. The main aim is to create a representative butterfly monitoring network across as many countries as possible in order to improve targeting and efficiency of conservation measures within the European Union. To do this, develop a suite of indicators that can inform EU biodiversity and land use policies, including the Common Agricultural Policy. The data will also be used to help assess the health of Europe's pollinators as part of the EU Pollinator Initiative.
The project will involve thousands of volunteers across Europe who will contribute data in a standardized way into a central database (the European Butterfly Monitoring Scheme - eBMS). It builds on existing Butterfly Monitoring Schemes that are running in twenty countries, but will extend these to other countries that currently do not have schemes. Target countries include Austria, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Denmark, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Malta, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia.
The ABLE project is a partnership between Butterfly Conservation Europe, the UK Center for Ecology and Hydrology, the Helmholtz Center for Environmental Research (UFZ, Germany), Dutch Butterfly Conservation and Butterfly Conservation (UK). It is funded by a service contract from the European Union Directorate for the Environment, for an initial period of two years from 2019-20.
We will continue to work closely with volunteers, partner organisations, land owners and managers, National Park Authorities, EU Institutions and EU Member State Administrations to engender their support for butterfly monitoring. This support, together with tangible infrastructure and support provided through this project, will give a strong signal of the ambitions of the EU and its Member States to develop sustainable butterfly monitoring to deliver key biodiversity indicators.