The Moths and Media talk (see below and below) gets another outing on Monday 8 June, 7,45pm, for Wycombe Wildlife Group – all welcome if you’re within reach of High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire. Details are here.
County moth datasets tend to be large and ‘messy’ affairs – messy in the sense that they are large aggregations of data from a variety of sources, collected using a variety of methods. Some people will run a mercury vapour trap all night long in their garden, several times a week; others will run an occasional actinic trap for a few hours on a nature reserve; others will just send in a few sightings of moths they’ve found by day. Is it possible to draw any overall conclusions about which moths are increasing or decreasing from this mass/mess of data?
In an attempt to look at this for the Berkshire moth database, I’ve set up some user queries for use in MapMate that compare numbers of records and of individuals of particular species against total numbers for the year. Full details and a download of the queries are here on my kitenet website. Here are the resulting graphs for Mottled Rustic, currently doing very poorly in Berkshire:
Positioned somewhere on the sublime–ridiculous scale …
- Moths provide inspiration for green energy: the structure of moths’ eyes enables them to ‘harvest’ light extremely efficiently, and this is providing a model for constructing more effective solar cells
- This is weird and possibly sinister, but US Defense researchers are trying to produce living insects with electronic implants so that they be controlled and directed – Cyborg moths
- Man finds moth in pre-washed, pre-packed salad shocker (well, at least it was a clean moth – what would be most appropriate in a salad, Mamestra brassicae?, Cucullia lactucae?)
- Is it a batman, is it a superman, no, it’s … Killer Moth
Not being too familiar with Killer Moth I consulted this review, “What is there to say about Killer Moth? He’s probably second only to Kite-Man as Batman’s goofiest foe … Killer Moth is a fairly standard figure, but his wings push his rating up a little higher.”
Butterfly Conservation are asking for help to ensure all MPs are aware of an Early Day Motion highlighting butterfly declines:
Members of Parliament have registered their alarm at the decline in butterfly numbers and said a big thank you to all the volunteers who participate in UK Butterfly Monitoring Scheme.
More than 50 MPs have signed an Early Day Motion tabled by the MP Bob Russell, who represents Colchester and is a long-time Butterfly Conservation member.
It states that:
“This House registers its deep concern at the decline in the butterfly population, with numbers reported by the charity Butterfly Conservation to be at their lowest for 25 years, with the small tortoiseshell showing the biggest decline of 81 per cent; congratulates the thousands of volunteers who each year provide information for the UK Butterfly Monitoring Scheme operated by Butterfly Conservation and the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology; welcomes the comments of Sir David Attenborough, President of Butterfly Conservation, who is promoting an appeal to raise funds for the charity’s Stop Extinction Appeal; and calls on the Government to promote cross-departmental policies to assist in safeguarding Britain’s butterflies”
If you think this EDM should be supported, please check Early Day Motion 8 to see if your MP has signed, and if they haven’t ask them to do so.
A sample letter to MPs can be found via Upper Thames Branch of Butterfly Conservation
Find out who your MP is here