The new Red List of British Butterflies.

 There is a new list published about the conservation concerns of British butterflies. Below is a summary of that list. It reveals some worrying statistics.

The assessment shows that four species are considered Regionally Extinct in Great Britain. 19 species are threatened. Of these species, two -The Large blue Glaucopsyche arion and the High brown fritillary, Argynnis adippe, are Critically endangered; and eight are Endangered. Eleven species are Near threatened and only 28 species {45%} are classified as being of Least Concern.

 Summary of the species.

Chequered skipper--Carterocephalus paleaemon---Endangered. Habitat fragmentation. In continuing decline.

Small skipper Thymelicus sylvestris---.Least concern. No current issues.

Essex skipper Thymelicus lineola------Least concern. No current issues.

Silver spotted skipper Hesperia comma----Near threatened.  habitat fragmentation. Being monitored.

Lulworth skipper, Thymelicus aceton---Near threatened.   habitat loss and fragmentation. being monitored.

Dingy skipper, Erynnis tages ---Vulnerable. they are thought to be suffering a decline in population numbers of 30-49%

Grizzled skipper, Pyrgus malvae,---Vulnerable. Ten year population trend suggests a population decline of 30-49%

Swallow tail, papilio machaon,--- Near threatened.   Decline of specialised habitat. being monitored.

Wood white,leptidea sinapis, ---Vulnerable.   Endangered. The 25 year trend shows a decline of 50-79%

Clouded yellow, colias croceus.--- Least concern -a regular breeding migrant.

Brimstone Gonepteryx rhamni.--- Least concern. very small decline. No current issues.

Black veined white, Aporia crataegi.-- Regionally Extinct. Last recording 1920s.

Large white. Pieris brassicae.--- Least concern. No current issues.

Small white.Pieris rapae.--- Least concern Some conservation concerns. being monitored.

Green veined white, Pieris napi. ---Least concern  no current issues.

Orange tip, Anthocharis cardamines.--- Least concern no current issues. 

Green hairstreak, callophrys rubi,----Least concern, no current issues.

Brown hairstreak, Thecla betulae,---Vulnerable. The 25 year trend suggests population declines of 30-49%

Purple hairstreak, Neozephyrus quercus,---Least concern, no current issues.

White letter hairstreak,satyrium w-album,--Endangered ten year trend shows declines of 63%.

Black hairstreak, Satyrium pruni,---Endangered, the 25 year trend shows a decline of 43%

Small copper, Lycaena phlaeas, ---Least concern, no current issues. Being monitored.

Large copper, Lycaena dispar,--Regionally Extinct.--last record 1864, Reintroduction attempts failed.

Small blue, Cupido minimus,--- Near threatened. the 25 year trend is close to being Vulnerable showing a decline of 38%.

Silver studded blue, Plebeius argus---Vulnerable. 25 year trend showing a decline of 43%.

Brown argus, plebeius agestis,----Least concern. being monitored some concerns about population declines in the last decade.

Northern brown argus, Plebeius artaxerxes,--- Vulnerable,  ten year population trend showing declines of 30-49%.


BELOW, The red admiral is of Least concern although there are some declines over the last ten years

Summary continued

Common blue,Polyommatus icarus,---Least concern. No current issues.

Chalkhill blue, Polyommatus coridon,---Near threatened. The 25 year trend shows a decline of 36%.

Adonis blue, Polyommatus bellargus,---Near threatened, populations fluctuating.

Mazarine blue, Polyommatus semi-argus---Regionally Extinct. Last recorded 1904.

Holly blue, Celastrina argiolus, --Least concern  Some concerns over fluctuating populations. Being monitored.

Large Blue,Glaucopsyche arion,---Critically Endangered. Extincy in Britain 1979 but reintroduced since the 1970s to 10 sites. Severely fragmented and extreme fluctuations in population size.

Duke of Burgundy, Hamearis lucina,---Endangered, ten year population trend shows a 50-79% decline in population.

White Admiral,Limenitis camilla,---Vulnerable. Ten year population trend is between 30-49% decline.

Purple emperor,Apatura iris,---Near threatened. The twenty five year trend shows a 52% decline ,however, there  are some concerns about the figure. This tree canopy species is harder to monitor.

Red admiral, Vannesa atalanta,---Least concern. Regular breeding migrant {the ten year trend seems to show a decline and the species will be closely monitored.

Painted lady, Vanessa cardui,---Leat concern, regular breeding migrant. No current issues.

Small tortoiseshell, Nymphalis polychloris---Regionally Extinct. Last records in 1980s  only vagrants since.

Peacock, Inachis io----Least concern, ten year trend  showing some declines but these are not supported by the long term trend. Being closely monitored.

Comma, Polygonia c-album,--- Least concern. No current issues.


Below. The Comma has no immediate concerns..

Summary continued.

Small pearled bordered fritillary, Boloria selene,---Near threatened the twenty five year trend shows a decline of 34%.

Pearled bordered fritillary, Boloria euphrosyne,---Endangered. Ten year population trend is between 50-79%

High brown fritillary, Argynnis adippe,----Critically Endangered , The ten year trend shows a decline of 85%.

Dark green fritillary,Argynnis aglaja,---Least concern. No current issues.

Silver washed fritillary, Argynnis paphia,--- Least concern. No current issues.

Marsh fritillary, Euphydras aurinia, --- Vulnerable the 25 year trend shows a decline of  46%.

Glanville fritillary Melitaea cinxia, ---Endangered continuing decline and extreme fluctuations.

Heath fritillary, Melitaea athalia,--- Endangered, continuing decline and extreme population fluctuation.

Speckled wood, Parage aegeria,--- Least concern no current issues.


Below, the speckled wood is  doing fine, there are no conservation concerns.

Summary continued.

Wall Lasiommata megera,---Near threatened The twenty five year trend shows declines of 38%.

Mountain ringlet, Erebia epiphron,--- Near threatened,  Some evidence of continuing decline.

Scotch argus, Erebia aethiops,--- Least concern. No current issues.

Marbled white, Melanargia galathea,----Vulnerable, Least concern there are no current conservation issues

Grayling, Hipparchia semele,---Vulnerable both the twenty five and ten year trends show a decline of 30-49%.

Gate keeper, Pyronia tithonus---Least concern. There are no current issues.

Meadow brown---Maniola jurtina,---Least concern. There are no current issues.

Ringlet, Aphantopus hyperantus,--- Least concern.  There are no current issues.

Small heath, Coenonympha pampphilus,--- Near threatened, The ten year trend shows a decline of 29% which mirrors the twenty five year trend.

Large heath.-Coenonympha tullia,----Vulnerable. The twenty five year trend shows a decline of 30-49%

Gate keeper is another butterfly doing well and has no current conservation concerns.

Protected by Law

The butterflies listed below are specially protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 which make it illegal to catch, handle or harm them in any way unless by way of a special license.----

Heath Fritillary,  Metitaea athalia.

High brown fritillary,  Argynnis adippe

Large Blue,  Glaucopsyche arion

Marsh fritillary,--Euphydras aurinia 

Swallowtail  papilio machaon. 

The full report..

The full report can be down loaded from the J.N.C.C. WEBSITE.


Once on the home page go to the search box {top right hand side.} Enter Butterfly Red List.

Latest Red List 2019

Black-veined White Aporia crataegi RE Last record 1920s Large Copper Lycaena dispar RE Last record 1864. Reintroduction attempts failed Mazarine Blue Polyommatus semiargus RE Last record 1904 Large Tortoiseshell Nymphalis polychloros RE Last record in 1980s. Only vagrants since Large Blue Glaucopsyche arion CR Extinct in Britain 1979, re-introduced 1980s. Globally Endangered sp. B2 ac(iv) High Brown Fritillary Argynnis adippe CR A2 b Chequered Skipper Carterocephalus palaemon EN B2 ab(ii) Wood White Leptidea sinapis EN A2 c White-letter Hairstreak Satyrium w-album EN A2 b Black Hairstreak Satyrium pruni EN B2 ab(ii) Duke of Burgundy Hamearis lucina EN A2 b Pearl-bordered Fritillary Boloria euphrosyne EN A2 b

 Glanville Fritillary Melitaea cinxia EN B2 b(v)c(iv) Heath Fritillary Melitaea athalia EN B2 ab(ii,v)c (iv) Dingy Skipper Erynnis tages VU A2 c Grizzled Skipper Pyrgus malvae VU A2 b,c Brown Hairstreak Thecla betulae VU A2 c Silver-studded Blue Plebeius argus VU A2 c + B2ab(ii,v) Northern Brown Argus Plebeius artaxerxes VU A2 b + B2 ab(v) White Admiral Limenitis camilla VU A2 b Marsh Fritillary Euphydryas aurinia VU A2 c Grayling Hipparchia semele VU A2 b,c Large Heath Coenonympha tullia VU A2 c Lulworth Skipper Thymelicus acteon NT B2 b(iii) Silver-spotted Skipper Hesperia comma NT B2 a Swallowtail Papilio machaon NT B2 b(iii) Small Blue Cupido minimus NT A2 c Chalkhill Blue Polyommatus coridon NT A2 b,c

 Adonis Blue Polyommatus bellargus NT B2 c(iv) Purple Emperor Apatura iris NT A2 c + B2 b(ii) Small Pearlbordered Fritillary Boloria selene NT A2 c Wall Lasiommata megera NT A2 c Mountain Ringlet Erebia epiphron NT B2 b(ii) Small Heath Coenonympha pamphilus NT A2 b

Summary 2019, courtesy of the JNCC { jncc.gov.uk}

The results show that four species are Regionally Extinct (excluding the Large Blue Glaucopsyche arion, which became extinct in Great Britain in 1979 but has since been reintroduced), 19 species are threatened (Critically Endangered, Endangered or Vulnerable) and 11 species are Near Threatened. Only 28 species or 45% of British butterflies are classified as Least Concern. 6. Of the threatened species, two are Critically Endangered (Large Blue Glaucopsyche arion and High Brown Fritillary Argynnis adippe), eight are Endangered, and nine Vulnerable. 7. A comparison with previous assessments shows that the number of species considered to be threatened has grown steadily as the criteria to assess extinction risk have been refined.

Adonis blue a red list species UK.

Image courtesy of Diliff CC BY-SA 3.0 licensePolyommatus bellargus male, Aveyron, France - Diliff.jpg

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