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Aflutter Success at Steeple Play Area

27 July 2015

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Deputy Mayor of Antrim and Newtownabbey Councillor John Blair gets a close up look of a Poplar Hawkmoth with Catherine Bertrand, from Butterfly Conservation holding some Small Tortoiseshell caterpillars. Looking on are Ruth Wilson, Biodiversity Officer, with local residents Kate McAllister and Rodney Monteith. 

 

Councillor John Blair, Deputy Mayor of Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council backed the BIG Butterfly Count, at Steeple Play Area in Antrim last week.

Councillor Blair comments, “It was a pleasure to start the BIG Butterfly Count at the Steeple Play Area, with over 20 local children helping the Council to carry out the survey. It was very interesting to find out how much habitat can influence the different butterfly species and how they can be used as biodiversity indicators. It would be great to get as many BIG butterfly surveys as we can for the Antrim and Newtownabbey area. It only takes 15 minutes so please, get counting!”

Catherine Bertrand, Conservation Officer with Butterfly Conservation adds, “Butterflies react very quickly to changes in their environment which makes them excellent biodiversity indicators. Butterfly declines are an early warning for other wildlife losses. That’s why counting butterflies can be described as taking the pulse of nature. The count will also assist us in identifying trends in species that will help us plan how to protect butterflies from extinction.”

To survey for the Big Butterfly Count, visit www.bigbutterflycount.org/ where you can download the Butterfly identification sheet.  For further information contact Ruth Wilson, T: 028 9446 3113 ext 31371 or email [email protected].