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Butterfly boost for Cairngorms National Park

22nd May 2007

THE future of the Cairngorms National Park’s butterflies and moths has been given a boost with the launch of a project to increase their numbers.

The Cairngorms National Park is an important area for butterfly conservation but many species of butterflies and moths are under-recorded. As sensitive indicators of how wildlife is responding to habitat and climate change, there is a need for improved data on the status and distribution of many species.

The Butterflies and Moths Mean Business project will train local people and businesses in assisting in this area by becoming experts in identifying and recording the species.

There will also be the opportunity for local land-managers to share good practice and identify target areas for habitat improvement in order to increase the number and range of the insects.

Training days will be held throughout from April to August and are being run by the Butterfly Conservation, a UK charity which works to conserve the country’s butterflies and moths and their habitats.

One of the species which will be looked at will be the Pearl-bordered Fritillary, one of Britain’s most rapidly declining butterfly and a UK Biodiversity Action Plan (UKBAP) Priority species in need of urgent conservation action. The workshops will target other important UKBAP species including the Northern Brown Argus butterfly and the Netted Mountain Moth.

Yvonne Malcolm, Cairngorms Project Officer for Butterfly Conservation Scotland, said: “The Cairngorms boasts a wealth of natural heritage and beauty for those who are inspired to explore and enjoy it.

“I am very excited about the coming summer season and believe this is a fantastic opportunity for locals and visitors to see and learn more about butterflies and moths while getting involved in biodiversity conservation.

“Not only will it give the public the opportunity to learn about these beautiful insects, but they will help in protecting and enhancing them.”

Stephen Corcoran, the Cairngorms Biodiversity Officer, said “This project is an excellent example of highlighting the importance of local biodiversity and the tourism sector.

“One of the main reasons why people come to the Cairngorms is to see wildlife and this project is helping to raise the profile of how important the Cairngorms is for butterflies and moths, and how easy it is for local people and visitors to see these insects and learn more about them.”

One of the key themes of the project will be to raise awareness of the importance of the Cairngorms National Park for a range of butterfly and moth species. Butterfly trails will be established throughout the summer at prime tourist sites to enable visitors to see and identify the species. Workshops will also be held during the summer for locals working in tourism to promote these sites.

This project is funded by Butterfly Conservation Scotland, in partnership with the Cairngorms National Park Authority, Cairngorms Leader+, Scottish Natural Heritage and the Cairngorms Local Biodiversity Action Plan.

For more information or to book a place contact Yvonne at the CNPA’s offices in Grantown-on-Spey on tel: 01479 873535 or email [email protected]