Limestone

Lepidoptera

Project

Project Officer – Kay Andrews kandrews@butterfly-conservation.org

Update: October 2020

Despite Covid-19 changing the way the project’s first survey season panned out, we have still managed to achieve great things throughout lockdown:

We have finished the database maps for our target species which can now continue to be updated as the project progresses.

Carried out research on foodplant locations to aid in survey site selection. Created web pages for target species that were missing from the Butterfly Conservation A-Z.

Worked with Yorkshire Branch to add a project page to the website as well as sharing a host of social media posts, which have had 381 reactions on Instagram, 109 on Facebook and 193 on Twitter raising awareness of the project.

We have also created a project booklet on the target species and their foodplants which is now printed and ready to be handed out. Once lockdown was lifted Northern Brown Argus habitat assessments, Small Pearl Bordered Fritillary surveys, Forester moth counts, targeted moth trapping, Mossy saxifrage surveys and larval searches were able to go ahead and I will be continuing to carry out moth larval searches over the coming weeks. Unfortunately, all training events had to be cancelled but I hope to have more people involved in the project nextyear.

I’d like to thank those who have supported the project throughout this difficult time and wish everyone all the best!

Kay Andrews, Limestone Lepidoptera Project Officer

Bastow Wood moth trapping

South Pavement

Project Oversight

Based across the Yorkshire Dales National Park and with the help of volunteers the project will gather invaluable information on the status of the threatened Northern Brown Argus and Small Pearl-bordered Fritillary butterflies, as well as several threatened moth species: Barred Tooth-striped, Least Minor, Yellow-ringed Carpet, Heath Rivulet, Forester( factsheet below), Chestnut coloured carpet (all high priority on Butterfly Conservation’s Regional Strategy).

The project will involve surveying known sites, and identifying new and potential sites for these species, feeding into future management priorities for the area and working with those land managers. The project will also investigate the viability of cultivating Wild Privet and identify potential recipient sites for planting within the Yorkshire Dales for the Barred Tooth-striped moth. As well as delivering a range of events and specialist workshops.

Introducing Kay Andrews : Limestone Lepidoptera Project Officer

I have always been passionate about the environment and studied Conservation Science at the University of Cumbria. Since graduating I have volunteered and worked in a wide range of roles from researching Orca in British Columbia and Sea Turtles in Costa Rica to closer to home projects including Trainee and Living Landscapes Assistant with the Yorkshire Wildlife Trust. My most recent role was Rural Trainee at Ingleborough NNR where my favourite surveying and monitoring tasks included UKBMS transects and moth trapping.

Targets:

  • 50 known Northern Brown Argus sites surveyed, new sites detected, habitat assessments carried out

  • 5 Northern Brown Argus sites added to those where monitoring is currently undertaken making the data from this landscape more representative.

  • 10 Small Pearl Bordered Fritillary sites surveyed and at least one site added to monitoring network

  • Develop monitoring strategy

  • Map all target species sites using GIS software to be shared with partner organisations that operate in the landscape

  • Required management undertaken through volunteer work parties and Countryside Stewardship Schemes

  • Survey workshops – training volunteers in the ecology and surveying of the target species

  • Wild Privet research, mapping and cultivation and planting out at 4 recipient sites

I am very excited to be taking on the Limestone Lepidoptera Project based across the Yorkshire Dales. With the help of volunteers the project will gatherinvaluable information on the status of the threatened Northern Brown Argus and Small Pearl-bordered Fritillary butterflies in the Yorkshire Dales as well as several threatened moth species. The project will involve surveying known sites, and identifying new and potential sites for these species, feeding into future management priorities for the area. Training events and surveys will be promoted via Yorkshire Branch’s website in due course.

The project will also investigate the viability of cultivating Wild Privet and identify potential recipient sites for planting within the Yorkshire Dales. The Barred Tooth-striped moth feeds on Wild Privet in two locations in the Yorkshire Dales. At other Northern England sites, its larval host is Ash, specifically trees at the sapling stage, Ash is currently succumbing to the fungal die-back diease ‘Chalara fraxinea’ which poses a threat to the Barred Tooth-striped moth and makes the sites in the Yorkshire Dales even more important. By finding other Yorkshire colonies and trial the introduction of wild privet the aim is to hopefully provide some resilience. More information see the Factsheet below

Call for assistance: Any botanists who have experience/tips for cultivating Wild Privet please get in touch, along with any volunteers willing to growon Wild Privet plants until they are ready to be planted out contact Kay Andrews kandrews@butterfly-conservation.org

Barred Tooth stripe Cats 9/6/20

Forestor 9/6/2020

Barred Tooth Stripe in Factsheet Yorkshire.pdf
Forester Yorkshire Factsheet.pdf

Acknowledgements

I would like to thank the Heritage Lottery Fund, Yorkshire Branch Butterfly Conservation, Wharfedale Naturalists Society, Craven Conservation Group, Yorkshire Dales National Park, Natural England and all volunteers and landowners for their support on this project.

If you would like to know more about the project and how to get involved please contact me at: kandrews@butterfly-conservation.org