Why choose the Five Visit Monitoring Scheme?
The Five Visit Monitoring Scheme is intended for surveyors who want to be involved in butterfly monitoring but who don’t have the time to devote the the full weekly butterfly monitoring scheme. This scheme is designed to capture sufficient information from a transect to estimate changes in butterfly populations and is analysed in combination with the population information from the Irish Butterfly Monitoring Scheme.
This approach is also used as part of our Butterfly Atlas 2021 but only in specific locations (High Priority Squares) and for one year only.
What does a monitoring walk look like?
Participating in this scheme involves establishing a fixed walking route (transect) of between 1 km and 2km in length that is monitored five times from April to September. The route should be established close to where you live or work to make it convenient for you to complete the counts when the weather is suitable. The transect should be divided into 5-15 smaller sections to form sample units, and the number of butterflies seen within 2.5 m either side of yourself and 5 m in front (a 5 m3 recording ‘box’) are counted for each section.
The route should be walked on five during the season; twice between 22nd April to 16th June, three times between 1st July and 31st August, leaving a minimum of two weeks between walks. Counts should be completed between 11:00 and 17:00hrs on days when the temperature is at least 13°C, during good weather conditions.
Anyone wishing to get involved in the Five Visit Monitoring Scheme should email firstname.lastname@example.org where you will be provided with support to get you established on the scheme.