Worcestershire Record No. 24 April 2008 pp. 31-33

WEST MIDLAND BUTTERFLY TRANSECTS 2007

John Tilt 

I have now collated the 2007 transect results and sent them off to Head Office to be included in the UK Butterfly Monitoring Scheme. A group of experts will then do some analysis to give population trends. I have included some of 2006 results to show some national trends. So how did we do in the West Midlands? 28 Transects were walked most of these over 26 weeks from 1st April to 30th September. I estimate something over 1000 man hours of work. On top of the recording the results are keyed into the Transect Walker Software and sent to head office. So a big thank you to all those who have taken part. 31 species of butterfly were observed on the transects and over 2000 butterflies counted. Table 1 shows how 2007 compares with 2006. To compile this table I have:

Selected the transects which were done in both years
Adjusted the counts to allow for missed weeks (holidays etc)
Then calculated the % loss and gains from 2006.
It will of no surprise to anyone who observes butterflies that 2007 was not a good year largely due to the strange weather patterns. A mild winter warm and sunny spring followed by an extremely wet summer. Some of the over-wintering butterflies such as Peacock and Small Tortoiseshell showed good results but Brimstone and Comma did not show the same trend. It has to be born in mind the 2006 was the warmest year on record. But generally it can be seen that butterflies were down by 23% in the West Midland Transects. It will be interesting to see if the national results compare. Table 2 Shows the National Trends 2005/2006. One of the most important purposes of Transect recording is to monitor the best sites for BAP species (Biodiversity Action Plan). Table 3 shows how many sites were monitored for BAP species over the last 5 years. It would be useful to monitor far more sites in the West Midlands. If anyone would like to take part in this scheme please contact John Tilt 01386 792 458 or john.tilt2@btopenworld.com  
Table 1 - Sum of Adjusted Total
  2006 2007 % change
Meadow Brown 6571 5409 -17.68
Ringlet 4897 3747 -23.48
Gatekeeper 4895 2207 -54.90
Peacock 879 2014 129.13
Green-veined White 1028 1370 33.20
Speckled Wood 1709 1160 -32.10
Wood White 875 949 8.49
Small White 1625 938 -42.31
Marbled White 960 653 -32.05
Large White 835 593 -29.01
Brimstone 555 499 -10.17
Small Tortoiseshell 430 474 10.22
Small/Essex Skipper 453 457 0.99
Large Skipper 484 432 -10.61
Silver-washed Fritillary 381 409 7.51
Orange-tip 429 409 -4.83
Red Admiral 471 407 -13.58
Small Skipper 427 360 -15.71
Comma 573 303 -47.08
Common Blue 797 184 -76.89
Pearl-bordered Fritillary 109 128 17.38
Small Copper 319 124 -61.22
Large Heath 190 122 -35.79
Holly Blue 52 116 123.67
White Admiral 228 106 -53.51
Small Heath 165 59 -64.02
Painted Lady 392 51 -87.09
Green Hairstreak 32 33 3.16
Small Pearl-bordered Frit 17 23 35.94
Brown Argus 48 22 -53.27
Purple Hairstreak 109 19 -82.66
Grizzled Skipper 16 17 7.09
Essex Skipper 22 12 -43.57
Dingy Skipper 6 10 58.70
White-letter Hairstreak 13 9 -36.46
Dark Green Fritillary 18 7 -57.73
Brown Hairstreak 10 2 -83.38
Clouded Yellow 34 1 -96.78
Wall 124 1 -99.15
Grayling 1   -100.00
Grand Total 31178 23838 -23.54

Sites

BLACKMINSTER

CASTLEMORTON COMMON

CHADDESLEY WOOD NEW

CHASE_END HILL

COPPETT HILL.

DOLEY COMMON

EWYAS HAROLD COMMON

GRAFTON WOOD

HAUGH_WOOD_SOUTH

HONEYBOURNE

KNAPP AND PAPERMILL

MONKWOOD

OLD HILLS REVISED

ST WULSTANS LNR

TEDSMERE

TITTERELLS

WEST MALVERN

WESTHOPE

WHIXALL FENNS MOSSES

WIGMORE ROLLS

WINDMILL HILL

WYRE FOREST EAST


Table 2 National Results 2005 all-sites index 2006 all-sites index % change down % change up
Small / Essex Skipper 73 45 38  
Silver-Spotted Skipper 313 305 3  
Large Skipper 72 76   6
Dingy Skipper 92 69 25  
Grizzled Skipper 86 61 29  
Clouded Yellow 452 1890   318
Wood White 64 18 72  
Brimstone 118 129   10
Large. White 108 88 19  
Small White 81 93   14
Green-veined White 90 62 31  
Orange tip 108 85 22  
Green Hairstreak. 98 81 18  
Purple Hairstreak 109 61 45  
White-letter Hairstreak 58 38 36  
Brown Hairstreak 282 137 51  
Small Copper 75 111   47
Small Blue 135 110 19  
Silver-studded Blue 83 137   64
Brown Argus 122 157   29
Northern Brown Argus 57 58   2
Common Blue 103 127   23
Chalkhill Blue 144 163   13
Adonis Blue 255 252 1  
Holly Blue 195 137 30  
Duke of Burgundy 68 68   0
White Admiral 82 132   60
Purple Emperor 201 179 11  
Red Admiral 163 239   47
Painted Lady 49 618   1153
Small Tortoiseshell 45 33 26  
Peacock 92 78 15  
Comma 172 210   22
Small Pearl-bordered 81 70 13  
Pearl-bordered Fritillary 72 44 39  
High Brown Fritillary 41 37 11  
Dark Green Fritillary 194 274   42
Silver-washed Fritillary 158 303   92
Marsh Fritillary 135 235   74
Heath Fritillary 31 122   293
Speckled Wood 147 137 7  
Wall Brown 66 42 36  
Scotch Argus 110 78 29  
Marbled White 102 151   48
Grayling 83 94   13
Gatekeeper 118 89 24  
Meadow Brown 120 104 14  
Large Heath 196 206   5
Small Heath 99 86 13  
Ringlet 136 139   2

Table 3 Sites monitored for BAP species
Species Data 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 Grand Total
Brown Argus Sum of total 7 4 16 42 14 83
  Count of site 3 4 4 4 3 18
Brown Hairstreak Sum of total 2 5 7 9 1 24
  Count of site 1 1 1 1 1 5
Dark Green Fritillary Sum of total   2   17 7 26
  Count of site   2   2 3 7
Dingy Skipper Sum of total 1 15 10 5 10 41
  Count of site 1 2 2 2 3 10
Grayling Sum of total       1 6 7
  Count of site       1 1 2
Green Hairstreak Sum of total 5 6 12 26 24 73
  Count of site 3 3 2 4 6 18
Grizzled Skipper Sum of total 11 16 17 14 17 75
  Count of site 2 3 2 2 2 11
Large Heath Sum of total       190 122 312
  Count of site       1 1 2
Pearl-bordered Fritillary Sum of total 104 106 174 87 106 577
  Count of site 4 4 5 5 5 23
Silver-washed Fritillary Sum of total 152 228 227 350 307 1264
  Count of site 6 6 8 11 10 41
Small Heath Sum of total 84 117 120 156 59 536
  Count of site 9 6 8 7 8 38
Small Pearl-bordered Frit Sum of total 27 14 27 17 17 102
  Count of site 3 2 3 2 3 13
Wall Sum of total 3 84 3 61 1 152
  Count of site 2 2 3 5 1 13
White Admiral Sum of total 90 134 179 222 93 718
  Count of site 3 5 7 8 8 31
White-letter Hairstreak Sum of total 3   1 10 7 21
  Count of site 1   1 4 2 8
Wood White Sum of total 431 691 742 581 763 3208
  Count of site 3 4 3 3 5 18
Total Sum of total   920 1422 1535 1788 1554 7219
Total Count of site   41 44 49 62 62 258

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