Posted 20th Jun 2018 by Peter Byrne
Wildlife lovers across Scotland are being asked to keep their eyes peeled for the country's only widespread blue butterfly this summer, as fears rise that it could be struggling
Over the last 40 years, the Common Blue has been declining, but the recent record of poor summers in Scotland could have caused the population to fall even further.
Now, Butterfly Conservation is calling on the public to take part in their Common Blue Survey.
BC Scotland's Project Officer, Anthony McCluskey, said: "Sightings can be entered from anywhere in Scotland and we would especially like to hear from people living in cities like Glasgow and Edinburgh, where we know the butterfly is found but we don’t have many records."
"Sending in your sightings will help us to understand more about the places this butterfly lives and where we might need to do more conservation work to help it."
"The results will feed straight into our Urban Butterfly Project, so we can start making a difference for this butterfly right away."
The 'Urban Butterfly Project launched in 2016, with funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund and Scottish Natural heritage encouraging people from across Scotland to engage with butterflies and subsequently help with conservation work in reverse declines.
Anthony added: "In Glasgow, BC volunteers are already doing what they can to help the Common Blue by growing Birds-foot Trefoil – the food plant of the butterfly’s caterpillar – and planting it all around the city."
"If we know more about where the butterfly is found, we could do similar things in other towns and cities too."
The main flight period of the Common Blue in Scotland is from early June through until early September.
Image courtesy of Samantha Batty / Butterfly Conservation