What does monitoring involve?
The Garden Butterfly Monitoring Scheme asks volunteers to make a count of the maximum number of each butterfly species seen in their garden during a 15-minute period, when air temperature is at least 15° C. Surveyors can choose to count from a fixed point or from a walk around the garden, but the same method must be used each time for the count to ensure consistency of effort between counts. Ideally surveyors are encouraged to make at least one monitoring count each week but more frequent count can also be made.
If you would like to participate in this monitoring scheme please email firstname.lastname@example.org where help will be provided to register your garden on our system to get you started.
Garden Butterfly Monitoring Scheme: an eCourse
The Garden Butterfly Monitoring Scheme deals with only 20 butterfly species that are likely to be found visiting gardens. The National Biodiversity Data Centre has developed an eCourse to enable surveyors to become familiar with the identification features of these 20 species. This makes this recording scheme very accessible for those who want to get involved in butterfly monitoring.
The content of the eCourse covers:
- How to identify the 20 garden butterfly species
- The methods for the Garden Butterfly Monitoring Scheme
- How to register your garden on the National Sampling Framework (video tutorial)
- How to submit your data (video tutorial)
- Butterfly identification support
About the Garden Butterfly Monitoring Scheme
The Garden Butterfly Monitoring Scheme was launched on a pilot basis in 2020 to test the methodology and gain feedback from recorders. The pilot demonstrated that the monitoring scheme was valuable and could generate important data on butterflies to complement the other butterfly monitoring schemes operated by the National Biodiversity Data Centre. A copy of the report on the findings of the 2020 pilot can be downloaded from the link below. Real time progress with the monitoring scheme in 2021 can be viewed below.
Species composition of butterflies
Number of butterflies
Number of counts per month
Number of butterflies observed per month
National Sampling Framework
The National Sampling Framework is a system used for managing for large scale citizen science programs, including the Garden Butterfly Monitoring Scheme. This framework is underpinned by a bioclimatic map this means we can relate the climate to the distribution of species.