Butterfly monitoring with Butterfly Conservation Europe
EFNCP has teamed up with Butterfly Conservation Europe (BCE) to undertake a joint programme of work in 2012. This includes developing proposals for establishing butterfly monitoring across Europe as an integral part of EU biodiversity monitoring, especially in relation to semi-natural grasslands. Although the European Environment Agency has included grassland butterflies amongst its biodiversity indicators the available data is extremely patchy, with many regions providing no data at all. Hence the need to assess the current gaps and propose a way forward for achieving complete coverage of the EU.
Developing butterflies as indicators in Europe: current situation and future options
Butterfly monitoring makes it possible to assess the trends of butterfly populations and to track population changes on a range of spatial scales: local, regional, national, or European. National and regional trends are especially valuable as they can be used as indicators of biodiversity and environmental change. As butterflies are good biological indicators, they are a valuable way of monitoring progress towards the EU target of halting the loss of biodiversity and degradation of ecosystem services in the EU by 2020. The monitoring is based on standard methods that can be used in the field (Van Swaay et al, 2012).
This report explains the current situation with regard to butterfly monitoring in Europe and gives recommendations as to how it could be developed.
At the same time, we are taking some small steps towards establishing local butterfly monitoring in certain regions, including Extremadura in the west of Spain and Romania.