Welcome to Butterfly Conservation in Somerset and Bristol
Small tortoiseshell numbers have been worryingly low this year. This may be due to the cool spring and slow start to the summer but other factors must also be at work in the longer term as its population has fallen by more than two-thirds since the 1970s. Theories involve climate change, pollution and parasitic flies that kill the butterfly’s caterpillars, but we need more information.
If you see Small Tortoiseshells or any other butterflies in your garden, please do enter them online at the BC website Garden Butterfly Survey www.gardenbutterflysurvey.org. We are still keen to have final records for this year.
At least there is one bit of cheerful news. Nigel Cottle found 339 small torts on one site on the Levels at the start of September, plus 11 clouded yellows, five painted ladys and 1132 green-veined whites!
A few small torts are still on the wing and there will soon be looking for places to hibernate. On them depend our hopes for next year so if you find one in a dark corner of your shed or behind the curtains, try to leave it undisturbed or remove it to a cold dry dark place to overwinter in peace.
We are finally close to arranging a log-in method for members that protects personal info and prevents hacking and spam. Meanwhile our Facebook follower count is 580 and our Twitter site has 750 so please do use them.