The UK Butterfly monitoring scheme annual report for 2013 has just been published and is available to download here.
The new online data entry system for the UKBMS became fully operational for the 2013 season, after going live on 9th April. The response to this from volunteers and co-ordinators was fantastic. By the end of the year 70% of transect data was received directly through the online system – that’s 760 sites. There are now around 900 registered users of the site, with more and more new transects being registered directly online.
Following a disastrous year in 2012, the majority of butterflies rallied in 2013, benefiting from the best summer weather since 2006, whilst some Priority Species (for list see Appendix 2) benefited from ongoing conservation efforts. Headline results from the survey included:
• 46 of the 56 species assessed recorded an annual increase from 2012
• Almost 630,000 more butterflies were counted than in 2012 on UKBMS sites, with each recorder seeing on average approximately 500 more butterflies per monitored site
• Some of the largest improvements in fortunes were for summer species whose main/second broods coincided with the July heatwave. Chalkhill Blue had its best year on record.
• In spite of some positives, the year was still well below average, ranking only 25th in the 38 year series
• It was a poor year for single-brooded, spring flying species, with eight of the nine species having below average years and the ninth barely above average. Grizzled Skipper had its worst year in the series.
• It was a late season, with 47 of 55 resident species peaking later in abundance than the series average.
• The mean emergence date for species was seven days later than the long-term average, whilst the mean flight date was five days later.