Counting wildlife again

Published: Tuesday, 01 August 2017

THE Canal & River Trust is urging people to count wildlife again by its canals and rivers, this time to tell the number of Comma butterflies that are seen.

It is Mark Robinson, National Ecologist for Canal & River Trust, asking people to take part in the Big Butterfly Count, commenting:

"Canals and rivers are great places to spot many species of butterfly. The Canal & River Trust would encourage everyone who lives near to one of our waterways to visit and discover all the amazing wildlife that thrives on our 2,000 mile network and take part in the Big Butterfly Count.”

Comma butterflyRidiculous method

Yet it is widely accepted that this is a ridiculous method of ascertaining the number of any wildlife, as not only does it move from location to location but the same—in this case a butterfly—can be logged numerous times by different people, there being no method whatsoever of control.

What has prompted this is that the Comma lives on nettles, of which there has been a big increase over the years, with CaRT relating that it 'needs to continue to monitor its progress'.


However, CaRT is going ahead with its count, and no doubt will eventually back it with its usual statistics. Already we are told that the butterfly has experienced a 138% increase in population over the last 40 years—even before the count has started.