16/06/2008
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Garden Moths Count

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Moths have a terrible public image but the truth is very different. Garden Moths Count is all about challenging the myths and raising awareness of the beauty, diversity and importance of moths in our gardens and in the countryside. Without moths and other insects, plants would not be pollinated and our gardens would be devoid of almost all of our familiar garden birds – Blue Tit chicks alone eat some 50 billion moth caterpillars a year in Britain and Ireland! Moths represent a hidden wealth of wildlife on all our doorsteps with hundreds of species visiting average gardens, stunning colours and patterns, and a myriad of weird and wonderful names. However, moths are in steep decline raising fears of knock-on effects on plants and predators alike.


Hummingbird Hawkmoth (photo: Dave Green)

Garden Moths Count is an exciting nationwide survey and anyone can take part, young or old, without needing to be experts or have special equipment. There is a Hummingbird Hawkmoth and Painted Lady butterfly online survey already running (at www.butterfly-conservation.org) in association with BBC Radio 4, so anyone who sees one of these amazing migrants during 2008 can log their sighting using the simple online form.

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Elephant Hawkmoth (photo: Mark Parsons)

In addition, Garden Moths Count fortnight runs from 21st June to 6th July 2008) (see www.mothscount.org) . Find out how to attract moths (using a torch or fizzy drink!) and identify them, and then send in your results online to put your garden on the national moth map. Bright pink Elephant Hawkmoths, day-flying Cinnabars and the amazing Buff-tip moth which looks just like a Silver Birch twig are all part of 20 target moths in the survey. There will also be a number of public events taking place during the Garden Moths Count period, where people can go along and see the amazing colours, patterns and diversity of moths.

To find out more about moths visit www.mothscount.org or join the mailing list to receive our regular email updates by contacting 0192 940 6009 or nmrs@butterfly-conservation.org.
Written by: Richard Fox, Butterfly Conservation