What value is a Butterfly Atlas?
The Atlas of Butterflies in Ireland 2017-2021 will bring together the most up to date knowledge on the ecology, distribution and population status of Ireland’s butterflies to serve as a benchmark against which future changed can be detected. The Atlas will generate the most detailed distribution maps based on more than a quarter of a million butterfly records, will draw on the different monitoring schemes to provide insights into population trends, and will include detailed species accounts written by national experts.
The project is run as a large collaborative project with Butterfly Conservation Ireland, Butterfly Conservation Northern Ireland and the Centre for Environmental Data and Recording (CEDaR), N. Ireland, supported by the National Parks and Wildlife Service and the Northern Ireland Environment Agency.
What will this information be used for?
As with all the Data Centre managed recording schemes, the aim is to generate high quality empirical data to build the knowledge base on Ireland’s butterflies, and to make this information more freely available to allow conservation actions to be prioritised and to improve decision-making for conservation. The principal outputs from the project will be the publication of the Atlas of Butterflies in Ireland 2017-2021 and an updated Red List of Ireland’s Butterflies to be published by NPWS and informed by the results of the Atlas. All butterfly records collected in the Republic of Ireland will be made freely available under an Open Data (CC-BY) license to serve as an important research resource to promote more research on Ireland’s butterflies. The Butterflies of Ireland dataset is also published to the Global Biodiversity Information Facility’s global data portal to ensure Irish data is available to feed into international biodiversity research initiatives. Some examples of how these data have already been used can be viewed from the links below.
The data collection phase of the Atlas of Butterflies in Ireland 2017-2021 ends in autumn 2021, with the intention that the hard copy atlas will be published in 2023.