Race to Save Magor Butterflies

Work is underway at Slade woodlands near Magor to help maintain and increase the population of some of the UK’s rarest and most endangered species of butterflies of which it plays host.

A survey was recently carried out by the Butterfly Conservation, on behalf of the Forestry Commission Wales, who manage the woodlands, and the survey established the population of three species that are in need of particular help – the White Admiral, Dingy Skipper and Grizzled Skipper.

These species of butterfly are heavily dependent on how woodlands are managed for their survival and their numbers are under threat due to factors such as a lack of suitable breeding habitat and food plants.

Three White Admiral butterflies were recorded in Slade woodlands this year and sightings of the Dingy and Grizzled Skippers have previously been recorded by volunteers.

Rosalind Codd, a forestry conservation manager, said: “By identifying the current populations of these three priority species and working out how best to manage Slade woodland to improve their habitat, we can ensure we play our part in securing the long term success of these beautiful creatures.”

After carrying out the survey, the experts from Butterfly Conservation recommended the best ways of managing the woodland to further protect the species.

Clare Williams, butterfly conservation officer said: “These butterflies need woodland edges, glades and cleared areas to flourish. “We identified several areas where work is needed to clear trees and vegetation to provide suitable open habitats and encourage the spread of butterfly food plants.

” We were pleased to work closely with Forestry Commission Wales. By using the results of our survey and monitoring work, we can help target woodland management operations to where they are most needed and help ensure the continued survival of these beautiful creatures.”

Slade woodland is open to the public and is situated just north of Rogiet.

Factsheets about the White Admiral, Dingy Skipper and Grizzled Skipper are available on the Butterfly Conservation website

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