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Breathing Places

Kerry's Wildlife Corner

Pine Beauty

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Environmentalist Kerry Leonard writes the next in his series of exclusive wildlife reports for Breathing Places.

Stroke County Moths


The summer months are often relatively quiet for bird life but at this time there are a number of other animal and invertebrate groups to study. Moths are a particular interest of mine. Most people probably consider moths to be brown and boring. There is no denying some are dull (their lives depend on it) but the majority of species are beautifully marked and may be yellow, red, green, even bright pink like the Elephant Hawk Moth.

In 2010 a project is running which aims to quite literally put moths on the map in Co. Londonderry. Despite being such a large area there are really very few moth records, even of very common species. This project will result in new surveying effort across the county to try and fill in some of the gaps.

Co. Londonderry there are records for very few sites. Even the commonest species have been found in only a few locations. It is just a matter of getting out on the ground and looking for them. We cannot hope to monitor populations if we do not even have basic distribution information.

The project is also training up local people as new recorders. A really important part of what we are trying to do is to have trained recorders in the county who can be contributing records for years to come. It’s the lack of these local recorders which has resulted in a dearth of information on the fauna of Co. Londonderry. It can also be quite exciting because you could be the first person ever recording moths in your area and there is the real possibility of finding rare and unusual species.

The project is being supported by the Heritage Council through the Heritage Research Grants Scheme 2010. For information on moth species and distribution visit the Ulster Museum website. The organisation which promotes the conservation of moths and butterflies in the UK is Butterfly Conservation.

Heritage Council


Butterfly Conservation

Butterfly Conservation Northern Ireland

Moths Ireland

Donegal Moths

Moths Count

National Moth Nightt

Ulster Museum

UK Moths

Listen to Kerry Leonard talk about moths and butterflies when he visited Creggan Country Park.

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