Butterfly Conservation - saving butterflies, moths and our environment
Butterfly Conservation
saving butterflies, moths and our environment
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Welcome to Highland Branch of Butterfly Conservation

Butterfly Conservation is a registered charity dedicated to the conservation of butterflies and moths.

New events and news stories are now also being posted on the Branch 'In Your Area ' page at http://butterfly-conservation.org/313/highlands-and-islands-branch.html


 You can also find us on FaceBook at facebook.com/ButterflyConservationHighlandsIslands


Twitter Logo You can also find us on Twitter - BC Highland on Twitter

Highland Branch covers Highland, Moray, the Western Isles, and Orkney and Shetland.

Branch field trip to Morrich More, Tain. Photo by Bill Slater.

Our activities include recording butterflies and moths, organising events and field trips, and publishing newsletters, many of which you can download from this site.

We welcome contributions about interesting sightings of butterflies and moths, and queries relating to identification. The information you provide will appear on the In Your Area page at: http://butterfly-conservation.org/313/highlands-and-islands-branch.html

To get in touch, please contact:

Kentish GloryMoths of the Month: January and February

In this regular feature, Roy Leverton illustrates a selection of characteristic moths to look out for in our area at different times of the year.

Spring Usher (R Leverton)

Spring Usher Agriopis leucophaearia

Occurs in oak woodland in February and March. This moth is apparently scarce and local in our area, but possibly overlooked as little field work takes place so early in the year. Males are much smaller and more obviously grey and white than others in this group, and the female is virtually wingless.

See more January and February moths...

For other months, see links below:

March | April

2017: May | June | July | August | September

2016: May | June | July | August | September

2015: May | June | July | August | September

2014: May | June | July | August | September

2013: May| June | July | August | September

2012: May | June | July | August | September

2011: May | June | July | August | September

2010: May | June | July | August | September

2009: May | June | July | August | September

2008: May | June | July | August | September

October | November and December

Sexton-beetles request

Sexton-beetles often come to moth traps. With only 5 species occurrring in the Highlands it should be possible for moth trappers to identify them with confidence - if necessary referring to the keys on the HBRG website at: www.hbrg.org.uk/FoHW/Nicrophorus/Nicrophorus.html

HBRG is therefore asking moth-ers to report any records to records@hbrg.org.uk

Records should contain the usual what/when/where/who details, with a 6-figure OSGR. If in doubt, HBRG is happy to receive photos or specimens.

Pots for Pollinators


Butterfly Conservation and B&Q are asking gardeners to help the UK's butterflies, bees and moths.  See here for more information.

Highland Branch 2017 Report

As well as the official minutes of the 2017 AGM, there is also an informal anonymous report on the events at the AGM which you can read in full here.  Photo by Matthew Desmond


Highland Branch 2017 AGM Minutes

Our AGM is held on the 2nd Saturday in April, as long as that isn't Easter weekend, and is usually held in Charleston Academy, General Booth Road, Inverness.  The AGM in 2017 was held on the 8th of April and the minutes can be read here.

The date of next years AGM is Saturday the 14th of April 2018

Contacting Highland Branch

To contact Highland Branch on any matter relating to butterflies and moths in the Branch area, please email webmaster@highland-butterflies.org.uk. Enquiries relating to identification are welcome, and if you can attach a photo, so much the better. Contributions for the Latest news page can also be submitted in this way.

You can also contact the Branch using the feedback form on the Contact us page.

To submit records of butterflies and moths from the Branch area, including the Hebrides and Northern Isles, please send them to the appropriate Butterfly Recorder or County Moth Recorder, whose contact details can be found on the Your records page.

Chequered Skipper - Highland Branch 2017 newsletter

Our Spring 2017 newsletter is now available to download as a PDF file (3.10MB). Copies have been mailed to all Branch members.

Many thanks to all who contributed articles and photos.

Atlas of UK Butterflies 2010 - 2014

Although not available in paper format, this report has UK distribution maps for all resident and regular migrant species apart from Large Blue based on the most recent five-year survey of the Butterflies for the New Millenium recording scheme.  Maps show distribution in each 10km by 10km grid square for 2010-2014, as well as historical records.  The report can be seen here.

Certain areas remain under-recorded, particularly Skye and the Small Isles, parts of Wester Ross and Central Sutherland.  Anyone getting a chance to visit and record in these areas in the next two seasons could make a welcome contribution to filling in these gaps.

Please send your records to David Barbour, Highland Branch Butterfly Recorder at dbfis@btinternet.com

Scottish Macro-moth List, 2015

This list aims to include every species of macro-moth reliably recorded in Scotland, with an assessment of its Scottish status, as guidance for observers contributing to the National Moth Recording Scheme (NMRS). It updates and amends the previous lists of 2009, 2011, 2012 & 2014.

Notes on the Scottish Macro-moth List, 2015 (PDF file,106 KB)

Scottish Macro-moth List, 2015 (MS Excel file, 50 KB)

The Wider Countryside Butterfly Survey (WCBS)

The WCBS is a UK-wide project looking at changes in the populations of the commoner butterfly species. Before the WCBS was set up, systematic butterfly-monitoring was often restricted to nature reserves or other good butterfly areas. While this was very useful for monitoring the rarer species found at these sites, the results of such monitoring did not produce results representative of the countryside as a whole. The WCBS was devised with the intent to rectify this discrepancy, which it does by choosing survey sites at random.

Hundreds of one-kilometre squares have been randomly chosen across the country, each one waiting to be surveyed just twice a year by willing volunteers. Here in Highland Branch (i.e. Highland, Moray, Orkney, Shetland and the Outer Hebrides) we have 80 of these squares... and many have not yet been surveyed at all! Who knows what unusual butterflies might be hiding in these unexplored sites? Could you be the intrepid surveyor willing to go where no butterfly recorder has gone before? Or are you a seasoned WCBS-er wanting to continue with your existing site (or even to try a different one!)? Whichever description suits you best, please get in touch at wcbs@highland-butterflies.org.uk and I will furnish you with more information about the project and give you the locations of squares near you!  There is also more information on our "Surveys" page here.

Ewan Munro, Highland Branch WCBS Champion

Chequered Skipper Surveys 2012 - 2014

We have been very pleased with the interest in, and the results from, the 2012 - 2014 surveys.

The aim of the survey was to target recording at 100 1km squares that were predicted, through computer modeling, to be the most suitable 1km squares for the butterfly in Scotland, but where it had not previously been recorded.

To download a copy of the reports, please click here. (PDF file)

Garden Moth Scheme 2012 - 2015

The Garden Moth Scheme (GMS) runs from the beginning of March to early November, with people recording the numbers of around 300 species of the more common moths in their gardens once a week throughout this period.  To download a copy of the reports including Highland data, please click here.

Moths of Caithness

This website has been launched to make available information about the status and distribution of moths in Caithness so as to encourage greater interest in the recording of moths in the County.

Please visit the site at: www.caithnessmoths.org.uk

Butterfly Atlas

Butterfly AtlasA few copies of 'Atlas of Butterflies in Highland and Moray', published in 2008 by Butterfly Conservation Highland Branch and Highland Biological Recording Group, are still available, and we're offering them at the reduced price of £1 plus £1.20 p&p please email unicorn64@btinternet.com for more information.









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