The rise and demise of the Glanville fritillary on the Isle of Wight

Curtis, R.J.; Botham, M.S.; Brereton, T.M.; Isaac, N.J.B.. 2015 The rise and demise of the Glanville fritillary on the Isle of Wight. Journal of Insect Conservation, 19 (2). 305-311.

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The Glanville fritillary is one of Britain’s rarest breeding butterflies, and is predominantly restricted to the south coast of the Isle of Wight. Populations have been monitored annually at a high proportion of known sites by counting the number of larval ‘webs’ during spring since 1996. In this paper, we present population time series for eight core sites. Populations have been observed to fluctuate considerably over the last 18 years, with a high degree of synchrony between sites. Recently, numbers of larval webs have shown a severe decline, with simultaneous extinctions occurring across many former strongholds. We combine our web count data with counts of adult butterflies from five sites of the UK Butterfly Monitoring Scheme. Together, these data suggest that the Glanville fritillary is threatened by extinction on the Isle of Wight, and that the total area used for breeding is likely no more than a few km2. The results flag up the need for a national census of remaining populations and further research to understand causes of decline, so that a conservation recovery plan can be developed.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):
UKCEH and CEH Sections/Science Areas: Pywell
ISSN: 1366-638X
Additional Keywords: Melitaea cinxia, metapopulation, extinction, abundance, habitat quality, temperature, butterflies
NORA Subject Terms: Ecology and Environment
Date made live: 16 Dec 2014 12:21 +0 (UTC)

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