Millions of 'Painted Lady' Butterflies Could Arrive in the U.K. This Summer
Volunteers from across the U.K. are being called upon to help count the potential millions of butterflies -- known as the 'painted lady' butterfly.
The painted lady is a well-known butterfly over the summer months in the U.K., however, every ten years they arrive en masse, in the millions, in what is called the 'Painted Lady Summer.'
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This year is looking to be one of those special summers.
"Painted Lady" and 2019
The U.K. charity, Butterfly Conservation, is asking people from the U.K. to assist them in counting these butterflies, so as to find out if indeed they are about to enjoy a "Painted Lady Summer."
Reports in the news today that this year could be a #paintedladysummer. The painted lady #butterfly flies to the UK during summer, but every 10 years millions arrive in a mass migration! Join us in July you'll receive a FREE painted lady butterfly kit - https://t.co/fieFbHDc6o pic.twitter.com/xOpllG8dsD— SurreyWildlifeTrust (@SurreyWT) July 19, 2019
The last time this effect happened was in 2008 when 11 million of the species were recorded.
Vice president of Butterly Conservation, Chris Packham, said the mass migration could be considered as "one of the wonders of the natural world."
And we can see why: These butterflies travel on a 7,500-mile round trip, beginning their journey in Africa and ending up in the Arctic Circle every year.
Join the #BigButterflyCount from today until 11th Aug . Simply stop for 15 mins in a sunny place and count the butterflies there . Send your result to https://t.co/w9cNLJvTEP and help @savebutterflies . pic.twitter.com/f7lR78EPGW— Chris Packham (@ChrisGPackham) July 19, 2019
The reason this year is looking promising, aside from the fact that it's been just over a decade since the last "Painted Lady Summer," is that higher numbers than usual of the butterflies have been spotted around the U.K. in the early summertime.
This is a "promising" sign that this could be a "good year," according to Packham.
Take part in the world's biggest butterfly count
Starting from Friday 19 July until August 11, participants can take part in the Big Butterfly Count - as it is being called by the Butterfly Conservation. One of the ways of attracting volunteers is by the appeal of the mental health benefits of spending time immersed in nature.
All people have to do is count as many butterflies as possible in the space of 15 minutes in just one spot in the U.K., and then submitting their findings online or via the online app.
There are a number of different common butterfly species the charity welcome as part of the survey -- they are specified here, on their website.
Conservationists are hopeful and excited that this may be a special year in the butterfly world.