The rare Glanville fritillary butterfly. Picture by Peter Boam.
A MAJOR study of Isle of Wight butterflies is to be staged jointly by a conservation group and an Island company.
Isle of Wight Pearl, at Military Road, near Brighstone, has allowed some of the grassed areas at the back of its property to revert to meadow. Now, with the Island branch of the Butterfly Conservation Society, it will host the Big Butterfly Count, which started this weekend.
First launched in 2009, the Big Butterfly Count is the world’s largest butterfly survey and visitors to Isle of Wight Pearl will have until Sunday, August 10, to play their part by reporting sightings of butterflies at the site.
The results of the study will provide scientists with information about population trends and changes in the behaviour of butterflies, amid the effects of climate change and other environmental pressures.
More than 40 species of butterfly are found on the Island and many of these can be seen along the Isle of Wight’s south-west coast.
Earlier this month, a continental swallowtail, rarely seen on the Island, was spotted here.
To coincide with the Big Butterfly Count, IW Pearl will be giving away butterfly fridge magnets in St Thomas’s Square, Newport, tomorrow, which can be exchanged for a free freshwater pearl bracelet at Isle of Wight Pearl.
• For more information log on to: www.bigbutterflycount.org