Butterfly Conservation

Here you can find facts and information about butterfly conservation. How to care for the butterfly populations, count butterflies and create a butterlfy friendly garden.


Over the last few decades butterfly conservation, like environmental conservation generally, has become increasingly important. Butterfly specialist became aware, as early as the 1970’s, that butterfly species were under threat and even going extinct. The Large Blue was present in it’s thousands during the sixties, however by the 1980’s it was declared extinct. A similar story can be heard for butterfly species the world over.

It is generally agreed that pesticides and intensive agricultural farming are damaging butterfly numbers. By putting harmful toxins into the air and also by destroying butterflies natural habitats to make way for roads, houses, farming etc. The climate also affects numbers producing higher quantities during good summers. This could point to a deeper issues with the environment, such as global warming, affecting butterfly species.

There are many conservation projects being undertaken across the globe in an attempt to save the butterflies. High profile figures such as Sir David Attenborough have attempted to raise public awareness of the plight of butterflies. Part of the conservation process is simply keeping track of butterfly numbers. There are several organisations, such as the ‘Big Butterfly Count’, that specialise in this area. Sir David Attenborough also encourages the public to get involved in keeping track of butterflies in their own gardens.

Butterfly Gardens

Another recommended way to help butterflies is to grow a butterfly friendly garden. Butterflies survive off nectar, therefore it is important to have plenty of flowers for them to feed from. Popular plants with butterflies include Buddleia, which is known as the ‘butterfly bush’ due to the large amount of butterflies you are likely to find upon it. Others include Valerian, Sedum Spectible, or the Ice Plant, and Garden Vanessides, which is very popular with Small Tortoiseshells. During late summer the Michaelmas Daisy is a great one to have around. At this time of year garden butterflies will be at their peak, in terms of numbers, therefore it is important to have plenty of food available for them to prepare for hibernation.