About the challenge!
I'll be looking for the Chequered Skipper, which is found around Fort William and was first seen on Mull in 2022. This little butterfly was recently re-introduced to Rockingham Forest, having gone extinct in England in the 1970s.
I'll also be on the hunt for the Belted Beauty, found on the beautiful machair habitats on Coll and Tiree, and the Slender Scotch Burnet which is restricted to just four populations on Mull and nearby islands.
With luck, I’ll track down the White-spotted Sable, a Red Data Book species that is very local and declining. I hope to confirm the presence of the Tiree Twist, known from only one site on the island.
Why am I doing it? Butterflies and moths need our help: the State of the UK's Butterflies 2022 report revealed that 80% of butterflies in the UK have declined since the 1970s. Habitat loss and degradation, caused by intensive agriculture and development - along with climate change - pose serious challenges for our wildlife. We urgently need to act to turn things around.
Nature needs our help, never more than now.