We have received the following from Tom Prescott and as it is so important to the island and the wider area am including it in the news. Ed.

 

The Butterflies and Moths of Argyll

St Moluag’s Centre, Oban

Saturday 20th May; 10.30am - 4pm

People simply love butterflies!  They are attractive, interesting and generally easy to identify.  As well as being a joy to watch and symbolic of sunny days, butterflies also play an important role as the canaries of our countryside, being sensitive indicator species quick to respond to changes in our environment.  Many species have exacting requirements, their caterpillars only feeding on one foodplant, and discrete flight periods when they are on the wing.  Butterfly populations are also rarely static making their study more fascinating.   

Argyll is one of the richest areas for butterflies and moths in the UK, and a stronghold for several key species, particularly Marsh Fritillary holding some of the most important colonies in Europe and the elusive Chequered Skipper whose entire UK population is centred within 30 miles of Fort William!,  In addition the area is also important for its moths, particularly the brightly coloured day-flying Burnet Moths with Mull hosting the only sites in the UK for the Slender Scotch Burnet.   

There has been a welcome increase in interest in Argyll’s butterflies and moths over the last few years.  As a result a meeting is being held at St Moluag’s Centre, Oban starting at 11.00, (tea and coffee from 10.30) on Saturday 20th May to discuss the possibility of forming an Argyll Butterfly Conservation Scotland branch.  The day will also include short talks on the areas special butterflies and moths and an afternoon field trip to look for Chequered Skipper and Pearl-bordered Fritillary.  If you are interested in attending or wish to register your interest in the formation of such a group please contact Tom Prescott of Butterfly Conservation Scotland Tel 0870 7706160 or Email tprescott@butterfly-conservation.org.  The day is free and lunch will be provided.

 

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