MILLIONS OF PAINTED LADIES ON THEIR WAY

A potential mass influx of butterflies to the UK has led for a call for hundreds of volunteers to help count them.

Every ten years, millions of painted lady butterflies arrive in a mass migration. Butterfly Conservation said that unusually high numbers of painted ladies had been spotted in Europe, heading towards the UK.

The charity is urging people to take part in the annual ‘Big Butterfly Count’ to see if this year will be a ‘painted lady summer’. The last time this phenomenon happened was in 2008 when around 11 million painted lady butterflies arrived in the UK.

Chris Packham the naturalist and television presenter who is the vice president of Butterfly Conservation described the mass migration as ‘one of the wonders of the natural world’. Mr Packham said the butterfly flies at speeds of 30 mph on its extraordinary 7,500 mile annual journey from Africa to the Arctic Circle and back.

Mr Packham has urged wildlife watchers to get involved with the Big Butterfly Count which started a few days ago and runs until 11th August. Participants are encouraged to try and record 17 species of common butterflies to see how they are faring.

To take part in the world’s biggest butterfly count people must spend 15 minutes in a sunny spot and count butterflies and then submit sightings online or via the Big Butterfly Count app.

Stuart Clarke

Author: Stuart Clarke

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