M is for May and Monitoring Butterflies and Moths
Join the Ring of Gullion team with Butterfly Conservation Northern Ireland to find out what goes bump in the night in the area? The team are hosting two training events with a difference 2 on the 5th and 6th of May in Slieve Gullion Forest Park. There will be a chance to watch and listen for moths and butterflies in this brilliant venue for wildlife!
These events are unique opportunities for everyone to learn from one of our top enthusiasts in one of our most special locations in the Ring of Gullion. Andy Crory, Butterfly Conservation Northern Ireland’s Moth Verifier will be running the moth workshop on the evening of the 5th May. He is very knowledgeable and experienced moth recorder and this will be a fascinating insight into mothing with top tips on site selection, recording know-how and species identification.
There will also be some moth traps available to borrow on the night, so you can put your newly learned skills into practise. The traps will be reviewed the next morning of the 6th May to discover all the beauties inside.
Also on the 6th May, there will be a free training workshop on how to identify and record the Cryptic Wood White Butterfly. This shy butterfly is is a newly-recognised species found in Ireland and we’re keen to learn more about its distribution. There is growing acknowledgement of the importance of biodiversity in the wider countryside. Butterfly populations are an excellent way to monitor the health of an environment.
Councillor Gillian Fitzpatrick, Chairperson of Newry, Mourne and Down District Council explains,
“We’ll split the time indoors learning about the species and the rest outdoors putting our new-found skills into practice. Surveys involve nice walks in the sunshine as it’s not worth doing them without it!”
By getting people out surveying for this butterfly, the Ring of Gullion team will be able to help to start to produce an index for this species which will contribute to both the Irish and the UK Butterfly Monitoring Schemes.