Warm weather means UK butterfly recordings rocket to record numbers


The sunniest April for 86 years and the recent warm weather has meant an explosion in record numbers of garden butterflies.

The British Trust for Ornithology (BTO), normally concentrate on the bird population, but they have asked people to record any butterflies they saw along with the sparrows, robins and thrushes.

The numbers and time of year that butterflies emerge from hibernation is dependent on the weather.

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According to the BTO, it only takes a few days of warm sunshine for butterfly numbers to rocket.

Unsettled weather throughout March meant that reports of butterflies were much lower than in previous years.

However, when a spell of dry, warm weather happened at the beginning of April the butterflies took advantage of it and reports shot through the roof.

Record April sunshine means butterfly numbers are booming.
Record April sunshine means butterfly numbers are booming.

A spokesperson for the BTO said: “The results show that this is exactly what happened at the beginning of April, with new records reached for some butterfly species.

“Both brimstone and small tortoiseshell butterflies were reported from about a quarter of BTO Garden BirdWatch gardens at the beginning of April 2014, but this year small tortoiseshell was seen in almost 40 per cent of gardens, a record for April.

“And brimstones were seen in a third of gardens – the highest proportion of gardens since recording started in 2003”.

Met Office stats released earlier in the month said April 2015 was the sunniest since records began back in 1929. Read more about that here.

RELATED: UK basked in sunniest April for 86 years.

MORE: England could experience hotter record heatwaves due to climate change.

MORE: VIDEO – Trapped teenagers rescued by New Brighton RNLI after being cut off by dangerous tide.

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