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.
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.
Butterfly Conservation Northern Ireland
National Moth Nightt
to Kerry Leonard talk about moths and butterflies when he
visited Creggan Country Park.