Results from this year’s Big Butterfly Count are in – and the majority of butterflies are continuing to struggle with populations of most species falling, and some at their lowest numbers since the count began.
Big Butterfly Count
More than 36,000 people took part in the count this year, spotting about 390,000 butterflies over the three-week recording period in midsummer.
The Gatekeeper, Comma and Small Copper butterflies experienced their worst summers in the project’s history. Small Tortoiseshell numbers fell by nearly half while Peacock butterflies also saw populations crash by 42%. Each survey participant recorded an average of just 12 butterflies – the lowest ever.
A handful of species bucked the trend: Red Admiral numbers rose dramatically by 70%, while populations of Green-veined White butterflies were up by 58%. The most commonly seen butterfly was the bane of cabbage-growing gardeners everywhere, the Large White, with numbers up by 2%.
Butterflies in your Garden
The disappointing figures mean gardeners have an even more important role to play in reversing the trend of declining butterfly numbers. You’ll find loads of butterfly-friendly plants here at our garden centre in Dublin, plus plenty of advice on attracting more butterflies into your garden: drop in soon to find out how you can make your garden a haven for the nation’s favourite insects.