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United Kingdom Butterfly Monitoring Scheme

Main Project Information
Where United Kingdom

The United Kingdom Butterfly Monitoring Scheme needs citizen scientists to monitor and record data about butterflies at specific sites in the United Kingdom. The project's mission is to assess the status and trends of United Kingdom butterfly populations for conservation, research, and quality of life.

Butterflies are unique indicators of the state of the environment because of their rapid lifecycles and high sensitivity to environmental conditions. The volunteer networks and datasets created by this project enable accurate assessment of butterfly trends, allowing researchers to assess the impacts of climate change.

The project is based on a well-established and enjoyable recording scheme. Participants walk a fixed route at a specific site, and record the butterflies they see along the route on a weekly basis under reasonable weather conditions. For data to be most useful, participants will need to walk their routes regularly with very few missed weeks each year and continue this for at least five consecutive years. This effective methodology has produced important insights into almost all aspects of butterfly ecology.

The United Kingdom Butterfly Monitoring Scheme has monitored changes in the abundance of butterflies throughout the United Kingdom since 1976. Over the 32 years of the scheme, recorders have made more than 170,000 weekly visits to 1500 separate sites, walking more than 375,000 km (225,000 miles) and counting more than 12.5 million butterflies! Join the fun!

How to Join

If you are interested in setting up your own monitoring route, contact a coordinator in your region. A list of coordinators can be found at

For general information on the project, please contact a coordinator at:

Butterfly Conservation
Manor Yard
East Lulworth
Dorset BH20 5QP England
Tel: 01929 400209
Fax: 01929 400210

Required Gear

Recording forms, guidance notes, local coordinator details, and the Transect Walker recording software are all available on the project's Resources page at

Ideal Age Group Elementary school (6 - 10 years), College, Graduate students, Adults, Families
Spend the Time outdoors
Media Mentions
and Publications
Project Updated 04/21/2017