For the conservation of butterflies and moths, as well as to help policymakers in selecting areas with high insect biodiversity, it is essential to identify and prioritize areas where efforts should be concentrated to preserve butterfly and moth populations and avoid their decline.
Important Butterfly and Moth Areas (IBMA) are defined as sites of international significance for the conservation of butterflies and moths which should be large enough to safeguard a viable population of a species, but at the same time, should be small enough to be conserved in their entirety. To identify IBMAs, Butterfly Conservation Europe and partners developed a set of robust and standardized criteria based on observational data, which might be applied to any region in the world.
This crucial process of selecting the most important butterfly and moth areas has been produced for the Netherlands following the criteria defined by BCE experts and using all data available from different resources.
In total, it was identified 38 Important Butterfly and Moth Areas, for which 6 corresponded only for
butterflies, 10 for moths and 22 were important for both groups. Of the 38 IBMA, 33 (i.e., 87% of all IBMA in the Netherlands) fall within the Natura 2000 network, which provides the best protection for biodiversity in Europe. For every IBMA, it is included a map showing its boundaries and location within the Netherlands, a list of qualifying
criteria, and a list of the IUCN Red List species that have occurred in the area at least 10 times in the
last 10 years. This assessment has provided the first assessment of Important Butterfly and Moth Areas (IBMAs) for the Netherlands.