UK Butterfly Monitoring Scheme

Ran across this interesting web site for UKBMS:


Butterflies are uniquely placed amongst British terrestrial insect and other invertebrate groups to act as indicators of the state of the environment, allowing us to assess the impacts of climate change and the progress of government policy initiatives such as the UK Biodiversity Action Plan, agri-environment schemes and site condition monitoring of Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSIs).

Not only are butterflies biologically suitable as indicator species, having rapid lifecycles and, in many cases, high sensitivity to environmental conditions, but the recording and monitoring volunteer networks and datasets built up by Butterfly Conservation (BC) and the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology (CEH) enable accurate assessment of their trends.

The United Kingdom Butterfly Monitoring Scheme (UKBMS) is a recently formed merger of the long-running Butterfly Monitoring Scheme (BMS) with Butterfly Conservation’s co-ordination of ‘independent’ transects. You can find out more about the background of these two separate schemes on our Development page.

The UKBMS consists of a network of sites throughout the UK, covering 71 species.

The UKBMS mission is to assess the status and trends of UK butterfly populations for conservation, research and quality of life.

The objectives of the scheme are:

  • To maintain and develop a network of transect sites in order to assess and interpret changes in the abundance and status of UK butterflies
  • To encourage participation in recording butterfly transects by supporting volunteer recording networks
  • To ensure a high level of quality assurance for butterfly transect data by development and promotion of standards, and by applying rigorous data validation and verification procedures
  • To secure and manage transect monitoring data and provide access to academia, governments, industry and the public subject to approval.
  • To advance knowledge in butterfly ecology through interpretation of transect monitoring data.
  • To provide the scientific underpinning for solutions to butterfly conservation issues arising from and habitat and climate change
  • To provide the knowledge base, including indicators of change, for government policies addressing environmental issues
  • To promote public awareness and understanding of butterflies through communication of the results of the scheme.

Data are collected annually to monitor changes in the abundance of butterflies, using well-established data collection and analysis methodologies.

Results have been published in numberous publications, and you can see the key findings elsewhere on this website.

The UKBMS operates as a partnership between the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology (CEH), Butterfly Conservation (BC) and and the Joint Nature Conservation Committee (JNCC) with funding by a multi-agency consortium led by Defra, and including the Countryside Council for Wales (CCW), English Nature (EN), Environment and Heritage Service (EHS), Forestry Commission (FC), the Joint Nature Conservation Committee (JNCC), Scottish Executive Environment and Rural Affairs Department (SEERAD), and Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH).

You can see details of planned developments to the scheme on our Objectives page.

This entry was posted in checklists, climate change, European butterflies, general butterfly news. Bookmark the permalink.

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