Fill the gaps!
An Appeal from our County Recorder: Dr David Smith
There have been no butterfly sightings returned from around 34% of the county in the last four years.
We are now four years into the current 5-year (2015-2019) Butterfly Conservation recording cycle. The map below summarises the progress we have made in the first four years 2015 to 2018:
Each coloured dot represents an area of land measuring 2 x 2 km (known as a tetrad), where at least one butterfly was recorded during 2015 to 2017. The white spaces are where we have not received a sighting of a butterfly in the last three years. Could you help us by looking in these areas and sending your butterfly sightings to the relevant Vice-County Recorder?
If you want to know where we need records from then the easiest and most fun way is to double click on the file called
and this will open out in Google Earth. If you do not have Google Earth then you can download it from here.
On double clicking on the file, you should get something like below in Google Earth (it might take a slight while to load the very first time you open the file).
Figure 1. ** Screen shots are based on data from 2015-17 sightings. With 2018 data added then there will be even more pins than shown here.
The map shows all the monads (1 x 1 km square) in the whole of Yorkshire where we have a butterfly sighting logged during 2015 to 2018. It looks like Yorkshire is well covered but once you zoom in (double-click in the Google Earth application map which should be running on your computer), and you might get something like this (I double-clicked in an area near Hull):
Figure 2. ** Screen shots are based on data from 2015-17 sightings. With 2018 data added then there will be even more pins than shown here.
We can see that Hull itself is fairly well mapped but areas away from major populations like Sunk Island (ringed) return very few sightings (though there are now records along the North Bank of the Humber when Sean Clough was recording in 2017). You can zoom in and out anywhere in the Google earth map! Let’s assume you double-clicked within the area marked by the red circle. You should now have something like below:
Figure 3. ** Screen shots are based on data from 2015-17 sightings. With 2018 data added then there will be even more pins than shown here.
There are few yellow pins shown. Each pin is positioned at the bottom-left corner of a monad (a 1 x 1 km square) for which we have currently a butterfly sighting (so we have sightings for TA2417, TA2418 etc). Away from the coast almost all of Sunk Island is completely unrecorded in 2015 to 2018. I’ve highlighted in red (above) one of these unrecorded 1 x 1 km monads (TA2618). (Further explanation here if you do not know anything about Ordnance Survey grid references).
The example map below shows where I have zoomed into an area around the northern edge of VC62 near Middlesbrough. There are quite a few tetrads that could be usefully visited here
Figure 4. ** Screen shots are based on data from 2015-17 sightings. With 2018 data added then there will be even more pins than shown here.
At the moment 34% of Yorkshire hasn’t returned a butterfly sighting in the last four years (2015 -2018). So every help would be welcome. Please send your sightings using the recording form here and send to the relevant Vice-County Recorder details of which can be found here
[ The approach I used to create these GoggleEarth butterfly sighting maps are described in Smith, D. R. R. (2017). Moving into the information age: From records to Goggle Earth. The Naturalist 142 (1095), 151-156 ]
(updated) July 2019 David R. R. Smith (Yorkshire County Butterfly Recorder & VC63 Co-ordinator)